Waituna toxic algae alert removed

The alert for potentially toxic algae at the Waituna Lagoon has now been removed.

Monitoring carried out by Environment Southland this month showed reduced levels of planktonic cyanobacteria (floating or suspended algae) in the l agoon. The alert had been in place since March 29 this year. Planktonic cyanobacteria can produce toxins that can be harmful to people and animals if swallowed, or through contact with skin.

On 30 May 2018 the lagoon was mechanically opened to the sea after water levels exceeded the 2-metre trigger level.

Environment  Southland’s freshwater and marine science leader, Nick Ward, said today that while the lagoon opening had a flushing effect on the toxic algae, as expected, toxic algae were still present at low levels, which could increase again.

NOTE: Toxic algae alerts can be found at Environment Southland’s website.