Naturally poisonous water? | The Jackal

20 Apr 2012

Naturally poisonous water?

Today, the Nelson Mail reported:

The Maitai River is out of bounds to swimmers and dogs after the discovery of a potentially lethal bacteria.

The Nelson City Council said today that with the recent the lack of rainfall, cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) has grown and proliferated in shallow areas of the Maitai River at the Maitai Camp and in the lower Maitai.

Council monitoring and research manager Martin Workman said cyanobacteria is present in all of Nelson's waterways but has particularly high coverage in these areas of the Maitai.


Mr Workman said because it is a naturally occurring bacteria and not the result of outside contamination, there is little that can be done to eliminate it apart from waiting for the river to be cleared naturally through increased flows, triggered by heavy rainfall. None was forecast for the coming week.

The unattributed article is bullshit! Cyanobacteria blooms are caused by excessive nutrients in the water, which in this case is caused by public service utilities and/or farmers releasing nutrient rich waste into the Maitai River.

The pollution would have continued at the same rate and with less dilution from a lack of rainfall, cyanobacteria has flourished. Fairfax is ignoring the facts again by labeling it a natural event. There is nothing natural about our waterways becoming poisonous!