Warning Toxic Algae

The best thing you can do to keep yourself, your kids, and your pets safe is to know what toxic algae looks like and avoid it.

  • Toxic algae forms velvety or leathery looking mats on rocks in the riverbed and are blackish/brown to dark green in colour.
  • Toxic algae mats produce a strong musty or earthy smell.
  • Dogs love the musty smell of toxic algae and will try to eat it if given the chance.
  • If you’re not sure, it’s best to play it safe and keep your dog on a lead.

The Ruamahanga River in the vicinity of double bridges and Waingawa River near South Road are approaching guideline levels and extra care should be taken at these locations.

The swimming risk rating is available at the following website and is updated daily to reflect the risk forecast.


Additional information on toxic algae and frequently asked questions are available at the following websites.



South Wairarapa District Council