Waingongoro River Mouth closed due to Algal Bloom

Waingongoro River Mouth closed due to Algal Bloom

Friday, January 29, 2016

Waingongoro River Mouth Closed due to Algal Bloom 29/01/2016

Due to high levels of blue-green algal bloom (Cyanobacteria), the mouth of the Waingongoro River at Ohawe is closed to all users until further notice.

South Taranaki District Council environmental health officer, Geraint Evans says Cyanobacteria is a naturally occurring algae capable of producing toxins, most commonly causing skin and eye irritation.  However some of the toxins could potentially cause sore throats, asthma, paralysis and vomiting or diarrhoea.

“Visitors to the river mouth should not collect or eat fish and plant life or come into contact with the water,” says Mr Evans.

“Keep your pets away from the water too as they can also be affected,” he says. "Dogs in particular seem to enjoy eating the algal growths and this has caused several deaths of dogs in New Zealand."

“Any visitors to the area showing these symptoms should consult their doctor immediately or contact the Taranaki District Health Board Public Health Unit on 06 753 7798 for further information,” says Mr Evans.

The river mouth will remain closed until cleared by the Taranaki District Health Board.