Monday 6 January 2020Media release3 minutes to read
The Community and Public Health division of Canterbury DHB has issued a health warning for the Ashley/Rakahuri River at the Rangiora-Loburn Bridge (also called the Cones Road Bridge) after identifying potentially toxic blue-green algae (benthic cyanobacteria) in this area.
People and animals, particularly dogs, should avoid the area of the Ashley/Rakahuri River at the Rangiora-Loburn Bridge until the health warning has been lifted.
There are also other access points along the Ashley River that may have cyanobacteria present, and people are advised to check for its presence and avoid contact.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey says the algae look like dark brown to black mats and can produce toxins harmful to people and animals.
“Exposure may cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips,” Dr Humphrey says.
“If you experience any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately, and also let your doctor know if you’ve had contact with dark brown/black algal mats or water in this area.”
Reticulated town water supplies are currently safe, but no one should drink water from the river at any time.
Pets that show signs of illness after coming into contact with algal mats should be taken to a vet immediately.
Environment Canterbury is monitoring the sites and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality.
For further information, visit:
Or contact Community and Public Health on (03) 364 1777.
For more information about Mahinga Kai:
Page last updated: 30 July 2020
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