A health warning has been issued for Lake Okaro as routine monitoring results provided by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council have confirmed a bloom of potentially toxic blue-green algae.
Contact with water affected by blooms of blue-green algae can cause asthma and hayfever attacks in some individuals. Contact with the blue-green algae can also cause skin rashes, stomach upsets, and in some cases neurological effects such as tingling around the mouth, headaches, breathing difficulties and visual problems.
Algae may also accumulate and form scum collections along the shoreline of the lakes. It is especially important that parents ensure that children avoid contact with both the water and any algal scum along the shoreline as this may be toxic. It is also advisable to keep pets and livestock out of the water and off the shoreline.