Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 22 April 2010
Recent water samples taken of the Westlake River have confirmed the presence of blue-green algae, as well as the presence of the toxins associated with it.
Due to its potential health risks, Dr Ivan Bromfield, Executive Director: City Health, would like to warn the general public of the Kirstenhof area, as well as recreational users who frequent the public open space along Westlake River, to exercise caution and avoid contact with the visible algae blooms until further notice.
This type of algae does not generally occur in flowing rivers. It has been established that a dam upstream has had a blue-green algae outbreak and therefore water flowing over the dam wall into the Westlake River carries with it blue-green algal cells. Investigations are also being undertaken downstream at Zandvlei since this river flows into the vlei. The saline conditions in the vlei should help to cause the algae to die off.
“Blue-green algae and the toxins it releases can present a health hazard for those swimming or playing in the river, especially children and pets. We recommend that people stay out of the water and keep their dogs out of the river as well,” Bromfield said. Continue reading