Hazard blooms in hot weather

ROGER MORONEY
Recent hot weather may have been great for water lovers but it's not the best for the four-legged kind who like to take a splash or a few thirsty sips from the decorative pond on the western side of Anderson Park.
The heat and long hours of daylight had become perfect growing conditions for a bright green algae - which, while it looked colourful on the surface, created a health hazard.
Napier City Council parks and reserves manager Tony Billing said the algae had bloomed rapidly late last week in the heat and, after consultation with the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, warning signs were placed around the pond.
"It is a precautionary thing," Mr Billing said.
While the signs, generally used for coastal areas subjected to pollution, warned against swimming and the taking of seafood, the real message was aimed at dog owners who regularly walked the area and whose dogs may head to the water for a drink.
However, Mr Billing said some people might be tempted to paddle in the pond to cool off.
"These algal outbreaks come and go quite quickly. They are just part of the nature process," he said.
While there was slight water movement through the pond, from a bore which filled it, cooler weather was the main ingredient to wiping out the algae.
Until then, the signs would stay up.
* Algal blooms have also been reported in the Tararua district, with environmental officers advising river swimmers and fishers to check for warning signs put up in affected areas.
The blooms, identified as phormidium, had the potential to kill dogs if they drank from the water and would make people ill - particularly children.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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