Lake snot found in residential water filters

Jim Boult.
Jim Boult.
Lake snot has now been found in water filters of residential properties in Queenstown.

In July, Mountain Scene reported the algae had been spotted in a couple of the resort's hotels, but there have now been reports of algae build-ups in the water filters of two of the town's private properties.

Queenstown Lakes District Council chief engineer Ulrich Glasner said the presence of the floating mucus was not a health concern.

Lake snot, or lake snow, was caused by a build-up of microscopic bacteria, algae (Cyclotella bodanica) and mucus which clump together to become visible to the human eye.

People might notice a drop in water pressure and could get their filters cleaned as ''a preventive measure'', Mr Glasner said.

A recent occurrence in Lake Wakatipu, lake snot has been present in Lake Wanaka since the early 2000s and has caused issues for recreational lake users as well as local businesses.

In January, the Queenstown Lakes District Council announced it would begin a $34,000 three-month trial to test whether a new treatment system would reduce the impact of algae on household filters

The council would release an information sheet about lake snot on social media today,and the council's engineering team was working with the Otago Regional Council to learn more about lake snot causes and treatments.

Water quality was a major local body election issue. New Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said he had discussed it with Environment Minister Nick Smith, who welcomed applications under the new fresh water quality fund, initially to finance research into local lake water quality issues.

Mr Boult, who helped establish ''Friends of Lake Hayes'' in 2007 to restore the lake's water quality, said he aimed to find some ''fixes'' in the next three years. 

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