21 Sep 2012

Lyttelton 'spill' is algae, not oil - council

9:06 pm on 21 September 2012

An investigation into reports of large spills in Lyttelton Harbour have revealed that it's algal bloom, and not oil, in the water.

The Canterbury Regional Council's marine oil pollution response team has taken samples and confirmed this.

Team commander Jim Dilley says the bloom looks just like an oil spill when viewed from a distance but up close the coloured particles are under the surface of the water, rather on top where oil would float.

The council's senior coastal water quality scientist, Lesley Bolton-Ritchie, says the bloom is not toxic so the public have nothing to worry about.