Health warning removed for Waiau River at the Waiau Township

The Community and Public Health division of the Canterbury District Health Board has lifted its health warning issued in February this year for the Waiau River.

Recent surveys at the Waiau River site have shown the quantity of potentially toxic blue-green algae (benthic cyanobacteria) in the river has decreased to below levels harmful to public health.

Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says Environment Canterbury’s sampling of popular swimming spots will resume in the summer.

“The public will be informed if testing shows concentrations have increased and there is a risk to public health again,” Dr Humphrey says.

Facts about cyanobacteria:

 If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water. Although district or city councils may place warning signs, these may not be seen at the numerous river access points, hence the need for people/ dog-walkers to treat every low-flowing river cautiously.

For further information visit http://ecan.govt.nz/services/online-services/monitoring/swimming-water-quality/Pages/river-warnings.aspx