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Keep clear of toxic algae

Wednesday 28 November 2012, 7:25PM
By Hutt City Council


Toxic algae can kill dogs and make people sick.

Together with Greater Wellington, Regional Public Health and other local councils we’re urging you to protect yourself and your dogs this summer when you visit the Hutt River.

Toxic algae or cyanobacteria is present in the Hutt River and potentially other waterways in the region and grows faster when the weather is warm, river flows are low and stable, and there’s a lack of heavy rainfall.

You can spot toxic algae by looking out for brown or black clumps of algae at the river’s edge or in parts of the river where rocks are exposed or it’s shallow.

If a dog eats toxic algae, it can die very quickly. Protect your dog by putting it on a lead and keeping away from the riverside if you see a warning sign or think you see toxic algae. If you think your dog has eaten toxic algae, take it to a vet immediately.

In humans, contact with toxic algae can cause rashes, skin and eye irritation, allergic reactions and gastric upsets. If you think you’re having a reaction to toxic algae, contact your GP.

For up to date warnings about the risk of toxic algae in the Hutt River and other waterways visit Greater Wellington at