KCDC warns locals to avoid Awatea Lagoons
Dogs risk poisoning
Kāpiti Coast District Council is warning people to keep clear of Awatea Lagoons in Paraparaumu due to the presence of toxic algae.
The Council has tested an algae growth at Awatea Lagoons near Mazengarb Road and confirmed it is Cyanobacteria Anabaena – a type of blue-green algae that is particularly toxic to dogs.
Swallowing water containing the algae can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, cramps and nausea. Skin contact can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, nose and mouth.
Parks and Recreation Manager Alison Law says tests show the naturally-forming algae is present around the edge of the lagoon, but and mainly near the inlets and outlets.
“We’re advising people not to swim in the lagoon, drink the water or if you’re taking your dog for a walk in the area, to please make sure it’s on a leash,” she says.
Dogs particularly susceptible
“Dogs, as we know, love to scavenge and play near water so are particularly susceptible to poisoning from toxic algae and the last thing we would want is for anyone or a pet to get sick.”
Signage has been put up at the site advising people using the walking track around the lagoon of the presence of algae.
“We do monitor the lagoon and this type of algae tends to appear when temperatures are warmer and water levels are low or remain stable for some time,” Ms Law says.
“We’re continuing to keep an eye on things in the meantime and with rain forecast for this week, we’re hoping this will help flush the algae away.”
What to look out for
Toxic algae is usually a dark green/brown or black colour and in waterways forms blooms, which can appear as a thick mat attached to rocks or beds.
If people are concerned about any illness following contact with water in the Awatea Lagoons or any other waterway in the district, they should talk to a doctor. If your pet is showing symptoms, visit a veterinarian.
More information about toxic algae can be found at www.gw.govt.nz/toxic-algae