Toxic algae in Hutt River at Boulcott
A large amount of toxic algae has been found in the Hutt River in Boulcott area (between the Melling and Kennedy Good bridges), prompting authorities to warn dog owners to keep their dogs on the lead and people to take care.
Monitoring of the Hutt River at Boulcott by the Greater Wellington Regional Council shows the brown or black toxic algal mats are widespread in the river and are becoming exposed on the river's edge as the river level drops. If ingested it can kill livestock and dogs and contact can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and skin irritations in humans.
"Although toxic algae cover remains low at the main swimming sites we monitor weekly including the site at Melling Bridge, other monitoring shows that there is a significant amount of toxic algae at Boulcott," says Regional Council Senior Environmental Scientist Summer Greenfield.
Hutt City Council has posted toxic algae information signs at key access points along the river.
"As we can't monitor all of the river this is a reminder to river users to scan any river location for toxic algae before going in the water or letting dogs off their leads".
Monitoring of Wellington waterways and coastal areas is carried out by Greater Wellington Regional Council, Regional Public Health and local authorities on a weekly basis over the summer months. Results of the monitoring are posted www.gw.govt.nz/summer-check .
Other information about toxic algae, including a guide of what to look for and what to do if you are worried about possible contact with toxic algae can be found at www.gw.govt.nz/toxic-algae-faqs .
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