Friday 31 December 2021Media release2 minutes to read
Canterbury District Health Board’s Community and Public Health unit has lifted its health warning for Te Roto o Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) at Lakeside Domain.
The latest water testing results show faecal bacteria levels in the Te Roto o Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) at Lakeside Domain are now below guideline values and the health warning issued on 22 December 2021 has been removed with the water in Te Roto o Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) at Lakeside Domain suitable for recreational use.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Cheryl Brunton says, “rainfall in the area in the last week was the likely cause of the high levels of faecal bacteria.”
However, there are still low levels of potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) that were found in Lake Ellesmere in early December.
“While it is great news that faecal bacteria have dropped to below levels of health concern, we still advise caution for recreational users because of the presence of potentially toxic algae,” Dr Brunton says.
When a health warning is in place, water quality at affected sites is not considered suitable for recreational uses, including swimming, because of the risk to health from the bacteria and other pathogens.
Water contaminated by human or animal faecal bacteria may contain a range of disease-causing micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria and protozoa.
“In most cases, the ill-health effects from exposure to contaminated water are minor and short-lived. However, there is the potential for more serious diseases, such as hepatitis A, giardia, cryptosporosis, campylobacter and salmonella,” Dr Brunton says.
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Page last updated: 26 January 2022
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