Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Confusing media messages as toxic algae return to the Hutt River

"The main role of present day media is to TRIVIALISE and DISTRACT from what is most important and thereby to LIE"

NZ: Toxic algae in the Hutt River are BACK

On 6 December I wrote the following report on the ongoing crisis of the Hutt River. 

I am the only one that I know to have reported in detail on this and yet article had very little feedback.

6 December, 2018

At about the same time a crisis was announced for the Hutt river with the annoucement of toxic algae in the river.

6 December

Toxic algae bloom forces swimmers out of Hutt River

Wellington swimmers are being warned to stay out of the Hutt River as the warm weather causes toxic algae to bloom.

In the New Year we had a few days with a downpour that flushed the algae from the river and on 8 January it was announced that it was safe to swim in the river.

8 January, 2018

The Hutt River is now safe to swim in, after last week's rain washed away toxic algae which forced its closure in late November.

This was reflected in an article in the local Hutt News (which is put out by stuff.co.nz) which came out TODAY.

On the very day that the Hutt News announces loudly on their front page it is announced that toxic algae have returned to the river.

Their report was obsolete before the ink had dried on their newspaper!

Previously the Council texted residents to warn them.  This time no notifications  but two contradictory reports on the same day

You would have to be a moron not to expect with the record-breaking temperatures we have been having over a period of a week or so that the algae would return and yet the idiots in charge seem to be well and truly behind the eight ball.

Here is today's report

Toxic algae return to the Hutt River
Swimmers are once again being warned to stay out of the upper reaches of the Hutt River.

16 January, 2017

The Greater Wellington Regional Council said last week that the river was clear of the toxic algae that is potentially fatal to children and dogs.

Heavy rain over Christmas had flushed the river clear of algae mats.

Testing has, however, revealed that algae has returned between Moonshine Park and Pomare Bridge.

Environmental freshwater scientist Mark Heath is advising people to avoid the river, north of Pomare.

"High levels of toxic algae were recorded at Silverstream and we advise against swimming or taking dogs to this stretch of the river.

"Birchville, Maoribank Corner, and Poets Park also have new growth, though at lower levels and also with intact mats, so the likelihood of ingesting the algae there is low."

He is urging people to be cautious near the river, and to be particularly careful with dogs.

Dogs can get sick from eating algae along the riverside, and should be kept on a lead.

Pomare Bridge is just north of Taita Rock, one of the most popular swimming holes on the river.

The recent hot weather has seen swimmers flock to the swimming hole.

Greater Wellington spokesman Clayton Anderson said it was still safe to swim at Taita Rock.

The council was monitoring the river and, if there was any risk to swimmers, the ban would return.

"From tomorrow there is supposed to be some light rain, so that might help us."

Taita Rock is 200 metres downstream from Pomare Bridge, and he said that if people saw algae in the river they should avoid swimming.

And from today saying two dogs have died from the toxic algal blooms

Dogs die in worst year for Hutt River blooms

A man is missing after swimming in the Hutt River last night.Two dogs have died after swimming in the Hutt River. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

16 January, 2017

Two dogs have died this year after consuming toxic algae from the Hutt River.
Wellington Regional Council said swimmers and dogs should avoid parts of the river at Silverstream where high levels of the algae have been detected.

The algae can kill livestock and dogs, and cause vomiting, diarrhoea and skin irritations in humans.

Environmental scientist for the regional council Mark Heath said while there have been no reports of humans becoming ill from the blooms, two dogs have reportedly died this summer.

"Over the last tens years we have had now 12 dogs die from toxic algae after consuming it or ingesting it from the Hutt River.

"I'm not aware of any human illness."

The council said people needed to be cautious and avoid any areas where it was found.

Dr Heath said the Hutt River has toxic blooms almost every year, but this season was the "worst summer on record".

"The drivers of toxic algael bloom are really complicated, but we do know that the really ... hot summer we have been having is definitely contri—Čuting.

"The most amazing thing about this toxic algael bloom is that it's been only 10 days since the river was flushed. We had seven times the median flow, and in 10 days it has come back that quickly."

Toxic blooms are common nationwide, and often occurred in clean rivers and streams with low flow and low phosphorus levels, and during warm weather with low rainfall, Dr Heath said.

"This particular toxic algae has actually been on the earth for over 3.5 billion ... years.

"So the rule of thumb is that it's actually found everywhere, in all rivers and streams, and it's just the particular conditions within that stream that may cause it to bloom," he said.

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