Stay away from toxic Noordhoek vlei, city of Cape town warns

CAPE TOWN – Residents and visitors to Cape Town must avoid contact with the Wildevoelvlei in the Noordhoek Valley because of elevated toxin levels due to algal, said the City of Cape Town’s environmental health department on Monday.

“The public is urged to avoid all contact with the water at the vlei and in the outlet channel leading to the sea, and discharging on a section of Noordhoek Beach,” said Councillor Suzette Little, the City’s acting mayoral committee member for Area South.

“Dog walkers should ensure that their pets remain on a leash and prevent them from drinking the water.”

This warning came as recent monitoring and laboratory tests confirmed that blue-green algal toxins known as “Cyanophyceae” were present. The city also explained that the algal population at the wetland, found south of central Cape Town, increased dramatically during the warm summer months. People and animals should not touch the water.

“Please don’t go to the vlei or harvest and consume shellfish from this area,” Little said

She added: “Drinking or swallowing large amount of contaminated water can be extremely dangerous.” If anyone comes into direct contact with the water should wash immediately with water and seek medical advice straight away if any symptoms persist.

For further information on the matter, contact the City’s Lakeside Environmental Health Office on 021 444 1653.

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