You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Warning for Hawke's Bay river

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/01/2017

Increased levels of cyanobacteria mats have been found in the Tukituki River in Hawke's Bay, prompting a warning for swimmers.

People are being warned not to swim at popular spots Patangata , Horseshoe Bend and Red Bridge.

The river flows from the Ruahine Ranges to the Pacific Ocean at the southern end of Hawke's Bay.

Cyanobacterial mats, or algae blooms, exist in rivers naturally, but can become toxic. Particular caution needs to be taken with algal mats that are floating on the surface or washed up on the river's edge.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council's weekly routine monitoring results, received on Friday, show cyanobacteria mat coverage now at official health warning status "red" for Patangata at 51.5 per cent algal coverage.

While Horseshore Bend and Red Bridge are categorised at amber level, on the cusp of an official health alert, with coverage at 48 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.

Hawke's Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health, Dr Caroline McElnay, said people were not to swim at Patangata and were advised to avoid swimming at Horseshoe Bend and Red Bridge given coverage levels remained on the rise.

Dogs are particularly susceptible to the toxins, and owners are advised to avoid allowing their dogs to scavenge on the river's edge.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon