Ōpunakē Lake Closed due to Planktonic Cyanobacteria
Due to high levels of blue-green algal bloom (Planktonic cyanobacteria), Ōpunakē Lake is closed until further notice and warning signs have been erected.
South Taranaki District Council (STDC) environmental health officer, Mark Superfine 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 Ōpunakē Lake should not collect or eat fish, plant life or come into contact with the water,” says Mr Superfine. “Keep your pets away from the water too as they can also be affected,” he says.
“Any visitors to the area showing these (above) 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 Superfine. Any other questions can be directed to the STDC Environmental Health Team on 0800 111 323.
Further tests will be taken throughout summer and the warning signs will be removed when the levels are considered safe.