junction of the Otukaikino Creek and Waimakariri River has now been lifted by the Canterbury District Health Board. The water is deemed safe for recreation." />
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Recent cyanobacteria surveying of the water in the Otukaikino/Waimakariri confluence has shown the quantity of potentially toxic blue-green algae (benthic cyanobacteria) in the river has decreased and the cover is now below the levels that are of concern to public health.
Please note: Earlier warnings for Ashley/Rakahuri River near the State Highway 1 Bridge and Ashley/Rakahuri River near the Rangiora-Loburn bridge are still in place.
The Community and Public Health team from Canterbury District Health Board have issued a health warning after potentially toxic blue-green algae (benthic cyanobacteria) were found in the Otukaikino/Waimakariri confluence near the SH1 and Main North Road bridges.
People and animals, particularly dogs, should avoid the area of the Waimakariri River near SH1 and Main North Road bridges until the health warning has been lifted.
Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says the algae look like dark brown to black mats and can produce toxins harmful to people and animals.
“Exposure may cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips,” Dr Humphrey says.
“If you experience any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately, also let your doctor know if you’ve had contact with dark brown/black algal mats or water in this area.”
“No-one should drink the water from the river at any time, even after boiling the water from the river, it does not remove the toxin therefore should not be consumed,” Dr Humphrey says.
Pets should be taken to a vet immediately if they are showing signs of illness after coming into contact with algal mats.
People and animals should remain out of the waterways until the warnings have been lifted.
Environment Canterbury is monitoring the sites and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality.
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