Health warning partially lifted for Lake Rotoiti but remains in place for the Okere Arm and Okawa Bay
26 January, 2023
The health warning issued in December for Lake Rotoiti has been partially lifted by the local Medical Officer of Health. However, the health warning remains in place for the Okere Arm and Okawa Bay at the western end of the lake.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council laboratory testing of recreational water shows the presence of potentially toxic levels of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae in the Okere Arm of the lake and at Okawa Bay. Laboratory tests also indicate that algal blooms in other parts of the lake have subsided. Visual observations and satellite imagery provided by Bay of Plenty Regional Council are consistent with the laboratory results.
Despite the partial lifting of the warning, the public should always be cautious for signs of algal blooms if using lakes. “Algal blooms can develop rapidly and unpredictably and can sometimes produce toxins that are harmful for people as well as animals. If the water looks discoloured, has an unusual smell, or has green or brown particles suspended in it then it is best to avoid contact with it,” says Dr Lynne Lane, Te Whatu Ora Medical Officer of Health at Toi Te Ora Public Health.
“It is important to look before you leap. If in doubt, it is best to avoid contact with the water and swim or play somewhere else,” says Dr Lane.
The health warnings issued in December for Lake Rotorua and in October for Lake Okaro, remain in place.
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