Topic: Health

Lake Taupō algae results loom

  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

A water scientist is expecting results overnight on whether lake Taupō's algae bloom is toxic.

The lake’s Five Mile Bay, Acacia Bay, Halletts Bay, Whakaipo Bay, the main lake front in Taupō township[ and Kinloch Beach are all confirmed sites where an algae bloom is being tested for safety.

Senior Water Scientist of the Waikato Regional Council, Dr Eloise Ryan, spoke to Kawekōrero Reporters about what a toxic algae bloom will mean for the region.

“There are two types of health concerns,” said Dr Ryan.

“The first can come from contact with the water. For example, if you put your hands and your feet in it. You could get things like skin rashes, stomach upsets, respiratory problems.

She said it could also cause breathing problems for asthmatics.

“The other thing is, if you ingest it, you could get neurological symptoms,” said Dr Ryan.

“That’s things like numbness and weakness in your joints. And also visual symptoms.”

Dr EloisE Ryan describes the possibly toxic algae as appearing like big green and brown blobs that can either float on the water or sit on rocks and sand.

“So if you see it please stay away from it.”

Kawekōrero Reporters will publish Lake Taupō’s algae test results as soon as they come to hand.