Algae Blooms in Lake Taupo

Health warning lifted

15 December 2017

The health warning issued last week for parts of Lake Taupo has now been lifted by the Medical Officer of Health.

Waikato Regional Council staff will be collecting samples from 12 of the lake’s bathing beaches weekly, and conducting visual inspections for signs of algal bloom, as part of a wider monitoring programme.

With hot, calm conditions and the presence of plant nutrients, phosphorus and nitrogen in water, the conditions are right for blooms to occur in our region’s waterways over summer. They can develop rapidly and unpredictably and in some cases can produce toxins that are harmful for people as well as animals.

Waikato Regional Council have staff on standby over the Christmas-New Year period to respond to any reports from the public of algal blooms in our region’s waterways. People who see what they think are algal blooms can report sightings to 0800 800 401.

Look before you leap

If the water looks discoloured, smells unusual, if there is scum on the surface, or the water has green or brown particles suspended in it – then it is best to avoid contact with the water and swim or play somewhere else.​

​Media releases

15 December 2017: Health warning lifted for Lake Taupo

14 December 2017: NIWA fast-tracking sample testing – Lake Taupo

13 December 2017: Samples collected from Acacia Bay, further sampling tomorrow - Lake Taupo​​

12 December 2017: Look before you leap - Potentially toxic algae confirmed for parts of Lake Taupō​

11 December 2017: Toxin-producing algae species identified at Halletts Bay

11 December 2017: Hatepe and Motuoapa water intakes reinstated

10 December 2017: Algae blooms found at south-eastern Lake Taupo locations

8 December 2017: Private water supply owners encouraged to turn them off

8 December 2017: Motuoapa water intake shut down as precautionary measure

8 December 2017: Hatepe water supply shut down as precautionary measure

7 December 2017: Public urged to avoid algae-affected areas of Lake Taupo

Water supplies​

Taupo District Council has comprehensive monitoring in place to ensure the quality and safety of ALL drinking water at ALL times.  There is currently NO risk to the water supply from this algal bloom and the frequency of monitoring and assessments has been increased in response to the situation.

For advice on drinking water call the Taupo District Council on 0800 ASK TDC (0800 275 832).

Questions and Answers

Read answers to frequently asked questions about algal blooms here


These photos show you what the algae looks like.​​ The first photo is an algal mat, like what you might see in the lake.  This mat potentially contains toxic species of algae, such as Phormidium. The second photo shows Phoridium on a slice under a microscope.​

Algal mat

Phoridiu​​​m ​

Page reviewed: 15 Dec 2017 3:19pm