Health Warning removed for Algal Bloom at St Anne’s Lagoon/ Mata Kopae
The Community and Public Health division of Canterbury District Health Board has lifted its algal bloom health warning that was issued for St Anne’s Lagoon/ Mata Kopae on 24th January 2014.
Recent water testing at St Anne’s Lagoon/Mata Kopae has shown the quantity of potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) in the lake has decreased and concentrations are now below the levels that are of concern to public health.
Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says Environment Canterbury’s sampling of St Anne’s Lagoon/ Mata Kopae will continue on a fortnightly basis until two consecutive negative samples (that are below alert levels), are achieved by which time the algal bloom will have cleared.
“The public will be informed if testing shows that concentrations have increased and there is a risk to public health again”, Dr Pink says.
Facts about cyanobacteria:
- The algae occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.
- If the water is cloudy, discoloured, or has small globules suspended in it, avoid all contact.
- Not all cyanobacterial blooms are visible to the naked eye and toxins can persist after the blooms disappear.
- Cyanobacterial concentrations can change quickly with changing environmental conditions (e.g. wind). If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.
- If a warning is in place, people and animals should not drink the water from the lake at any time, even boiled water.