Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says the algae look like dark brown to black mats and can produce toxins harmful to people and animals Photo: Environment Canterbury

Health warning lifted

by Mike Isle

Canterbury District Health Board’s Community and Public Health unit has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued along the Selwyn/Waikirikiri River at Glentunnel; this was issued on January 24 2019.

Recent cyanobacteria monitoring of the water at the Selwyn/Waikirikiri River at Glentunnel has shown the coverage of potentially toxic blue-green algae (benthic cyanobacteria) in the river has decreased and is now below the levels that are of concern to public health.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink said, “Environment Canterbury’s monitoring season has finished and will not resume until November 2019; therefore the public is advised to check rivers they use for signs of cyanobacteria prior to entering them.” Blue-green algae appear as dark brown/black mats attached to rocks along the riverbed. It often has a strong musty smell.