Algae Warning January 2009

Fri 16 Jan 2009

A nasty surprise could be waiting for people hoping to make the most of summer by heading for many of the region’s rivers and streams

Horizons Regional Council scientists warned yesterday that outbreaks of potentially harmful blue-green algae were widespread in the upper Manawatu River and its tributaries upstream of the Ashhurst Domain, though there were some clear swimming spots on the Pohangina River.

The algae, which can kill dogs and harm humans, has also been confirmed in Palmerston North at the end of Albert St and in the Oroua River at Awahuri.

Horizons environmental scientist Kate McArthur said the lack of rain and continuing warm weather were creating ideal conditions for the slimy black Phormidium growths to take hold in shallow reaches of the region’s rivers and streams.

“While we have been able to confirm the algae is present in a significant number of popular swimming spots, people should keep themselves and their pets safe by assuming that all waterways may have Phormidium present and they should check for obvious signs before swimming,” said Ms McArthur.

“Young children and babies are at greater risk, and dogs should be kept away from any river with obvious signs of growth.

“Fishing in areas with signs of the algae is probably okay but fish might taste muddy and should be thoroughly washed with clean water. Don’t eat the kidneys and liver.”

Ms McArthur said rivers with better water quality were generally likely to have less algal growth and be safer for swimming.

“Anyone wondering if they have found a safe place to swim should check upstream for shallow areas where the water is broken, such as riffles or rapids. If there’s any slimy black growth in the water, or dried material on the river’s edge, swimming is probably not advisable.”

She said checks yesterday showed no growths on the Pohangina River at Piripiri, Mais Reach and the Totara Reserve, though anyone visiting those areas should check for themselves.

“While these areas were clear and fine for swimming when we checked them, people should remain vigilant as growths and blooms can develop rapidly at any time.”

Ms McArthur said algae had been confirmed in the Waikawa Stream downstream of SH1.

We remember Graham Hassell

Graham Hassell, a long serving committee member of the Association, died on 29 January 2009 after a battle with cancer.

In the past 10 years Graham organised most of the working bees to improve the facilities around the settlement.

His last big project was the boat launching ramp, the completion of which caused him much frustration because of regional council delays. He finally completed it two months before his death. After the boat ramp was completed he planted two Norfolk pines in the reserve and probably his last outing was at the Waikawa Beach Ambrose Golf and after match function in early January.

Bad Re Sealing

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On Tuesday 13 January, Higgins Contractors resealed Waikawa Beach Road from about 500 metres outside the 50km speed limit down to the boat ramp. Some would say that other areas needed sealing more urgently than this area, such as the short loop road at the toilets in the reserve or that part Waikawa Beach Road from the junction of Takapau Road 500 metres down toward SH1.

Now residents are confronted with chlidren arriving home from the river with feet coverd in tar and which after only one day must have been carried into most houses in the settlement.

The coverage of chips is inferior in many places, probably worse than that which occured on SH 1 two years ago just north of Paraparaumu.

Was the reasealing in this area really necessary?

Why was it carried out in the holiday settlement at its busiest time?

Was any consideration given to using smaller chips having regard that the settlement has no footpaths?

Newsletter October 2008

A warm welcome to our new members.
Subscriptions
Yes it is that time of the year again !
$ 25 to Helen Hewitson 4 Cathryn St RD 31 Levin please, or bank in our account. Waikawa Beach Ratepayers No 2 acc at Westpac Levin 03 0667 0268929 000
Donations to the fighting fund are also welcome. If you would like to contribute the bank account is Waikawa Beach Ratepayers No 2 account at Westpac Levin 03 0667 0268929 025 or alternatively post a cheque to the same address as subs. The Association will continue to oppose the Waikawa Lakes development and will require expert witnesses. We sincerely thank those who have already contributed. The money has been well used and it will show in the annual accounts at the AGM in December.
Rubbish Collections
As usual wheelie bins are available over the holidays for a four weekly period from Levin Container Rubbish – phone 06 3682438 Cost $32 for four weeks. Bags are still available for collection on Mondays.
Horowhenua Growth Development Plan
Horowhenua District Council asked to meet with members of the Committee to finalise the Development Plan for Waikawa. I have had some comments from members when they received the final document. Please feel assured that in order to gain we had to give and on the whole we considered the plan to be favourable. Any further development will consist of lots over 5000sq mtrs. Members must realise that if we were to oppose additions or deletions to the plan we must be able to prove that the changes are contrary to the district plan.
NZ Wise
There have been no further indications of development of this land to date.
Waikawa Lakes
There has been no further development here either. The Regional Council ( Horizons ) assure me that they ( Waikawa Lakes ) are required to get resource consent re the diversion of ground water for the Lakes. If you put in an original submission you should be notified. Contamination of ground water continues to be a major issue.
Andy’s Boat Ramp
Resource Consent was granted for the ramp, albeit that it took a considerable amount of time. The ramp has been completed and now the bollards that will restrict access for all but canoes and kayaks will be installed. We are sure it will get a lot of use over the summer.
There have been several enquiries as to the size of the ramp. It was designed so that a person could walk either side of a canoe, to allow the waka reasonable access and to permit emergencies vehicles if necessary.
Rental Properties
I regularly get enquires for short term rental properties. If you do let your house and would like to be on my list I will gladly pass on any requests I get.
Septic Tanks – Waste water
New National Environmental Standards are proposed. Further details are available on the Ministry for the Environment’s website. http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/nps-freshwater-management/index.html
It is probably timely to give a reminder that the care of your septic tank is important and that you have it cleaned out every few years.
Beach Clean Up
Saturday 24 October 10am. Collect your plastic bags and gloves from the Reserve. There is a good amount of rubbish on the beach and it would be great to have it clean for the summer. A sweet treat awaits all those who help. Once the rubbish bag is filled it can be left on the beach to be picked up by quad and trailer.
Web Site
The web site is kept updated regularly. If you have news or an item you would like posted on the web site contact waikawabeach@gmail.com
ConstitutionT
he constitution was duly altered and accepted at the special meeting. It will be on our website and copies will be available at the AGM.
Whitebaiting
It has been a miserable season to date. One hopes that the next six weeks will prove to be better.

Merry Christmas

Erica Wyatt, Secretary
24 Manga Pirau St
Waikawa Beach RD 31
Levin

Ph 06 362 6679 E-mail ericawy@gmail.com