Testing is underway to confirm the presence of potentially toxic algae in the Wairakei waterway in Pāpāmoa and in the pond at Double Bay Rd, The Lakes.

Tauranga City Council has advised that humans and dogs keep out of water contaminated by the potentially toxic cyanobacteria blue-green algae and avoid drinking or touching it.

The areas of concern in the Wairakei stormwater reserve are from Maldives Way to Gravatt Rd and from Palm Springs to Emerald Shores.

Warning signs have been installed in some areas and more signs will be going up shortly.

Toxic varieties can be especially harmful to dogs so avoid contact with the water and do not let dogs drink the water, eat the algae on the banks or swim in these waterways.

Ideally, keep dogs on a lead.

Algal blooms are a natural occurrence influenced by a sustained period of lack of rain i.e. low flows, and favourable weather conditions for example calm weather and high temperatures.

Cyanobacteria can cause the water in ponds to become murky or cloudy with blooms giving it a 'pea soup' appearance. They can also cause a film or layer of scum on top of water or at the waters edge, and can give off a musty smell. Algae disperse naturally with natural flow once sufficient rain falls.

As a general rule of thumb, if the water looks green or has a layer of algal scum, stay clear of it.

If you spot green algae in waterways and there are no signs up anywhere near to warn of dangers, please report it by calling the council on 07 577 7000.