Toxic algae identified at dam

Toxic algae bloom warning signs are in place at Butchers Dam, about 8km from Alexandra, advising people to keep away from the water as the first toxic algae bloom of the season was seen.

Otago Regional Council (ORC) water quality scientist and programme lead Helen Trotter said that the environmental monitoring team collected samples that showed the presence of cyanobacteria (toxic algae).

Yesterday, the bloom appeared worse than last week, so signs were put up warning the water at Butchers Dam was unsafe for swimming or drinking and recommending pets and stock be kept away.

ORC staff were waiting for results from further testing to confirm the alert level but felt confident in issuing a warning with the probability people will be out and about on the first weekend of summer, Ms Trotter said.