October 21, 2022
Algae bloom turns Okaro lake toxic
Toi Te Ora Public Health has issued a health warning for Lake Okaro, near Rotorua, after a bloom of potentially toxic blue-green algae was detected.
Medical Officer of Health Lynne Lane says contact with algal blooms can cause asthma and hayfever attacks in some individuals, as well as skin rashes, stomach upsets, and in some cases neurological effects such as tingling around the mouth, headaches, breathing difficulties and visual problems.
She says people should avoid any activity which results in significant contact with the lake water.
Signage will be erected at Lake Okaro advising potential lake users about the algal bloom.
The small lake near Waimangu is subject to frequent and severe algae blooms in summer, despite an extensive water quality management programme.