Toxic algae found in Te Awa Kairangi/Hutt River near Manor Park golf course

  • Published Date 16 Dec 2022
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Swimmers are advised to be cautious while dog owners should keep their pets leashed or avoid Te Awa Kairangi/Hutt River by the Manor Park Golf Sanctuary where large amounts of toxic algae have been identified.

The site is approximately 600 metres downstream from Silverstream Bridge where an Amber Alert is currently in place on the Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) website after toxic algae was discovered there last week.

Greater Wellington Marine and Freshwater Team Leader Dr Evan Harrison said an abundance of toxic algae has been detected near the golf course, including detached algal mats.

“We strongly advise caution to swimmers and dog walkers. Toxic algae is deadly to dogs and can make people sick,” Dr Harrison said.

Dogs love the smell and taste of toxic algae but even a tiny piece, about the size of a 50-cent coin, is enough to kill a dog.

“The risk is higher still with detached mats being found, meaning the algae has broken off rocks in the riverbed and can wash up on the river’s edge within easy reach of dogs,” Dr Harrison said.

“Toxic algae occurs naturally and frequently in our rivers during summer so the public must be vigilant. Please check the LAWA website before walking your dog or swimming in our rivers.”

Greater Wellington is currently monitoring popular swimming spots around the region on a weekly basis to ensure the community knows when and where it’s safe to swim.

Members of the public who think they have come into contact with toxic algae should see a doctor or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116. If you believe your dog has eaten toxic algae take it immediately to the nearest vet.

To learn how to identify toxic algae visit the Greater Wellington website.

Updated December 16, 2022 at 4:38 PM

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