Due to high levels of blue-green algal bloom (Planktonic cyanobacteria), Kaupokonui River mouth is closed until further notice and warning signs have been erected.
South Taranaki District Council (STDC) environmental services group manager Liam Dagg says Cyanobacteria is a naturally occurring algae capable of producing toxins, most commonly causing skin and eye irritation. However, some of the toxins could potentially cause sore throats, asthma, paralysis and vomiting or diarrhoea.
“Visitors to Kaupokonui River mouth should not collect or eat fish, plant life or come into contact with the water,” says Mr Dagg. “Keep your pets away from the water too as they can also be affected,” he says.
“Any visitors to the area showing these (above) symptoms should consult their doctor immediately or contact the Taranaki District Health Board Public Health Unit on 06 753 7798 for further information,” says Mr Dagg. Any other questions can be directed to the Council’s Environmental Health Team on 0800 111 323.
Further tests will be taken throughout summer and the warning signs will be removed when the levels are considered safe.