Friends of Rietvlei
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Rietvlei re-opened to public  -  30 March 2007
Public health concern over toxic blue-green algae in the water of the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve resulted in the temporary closing of the recreational water body to the public. The City of Cape Town's Nature Conservation Branch has since embarked on a rehabilitation study, supported by the local Subcouncil, to research potential mitigation measures for this and other problems relating to Rietvlei.

The Nature Conservation, City Health and Scientific Services Branches reviewed a series of water quality reports that indicate that Mycrocystin toxin levels have since dropped to acceptable levels, though blue-green algae is still present in the water. Based on these findings it was decided to re-open the water body to the public and to adopt a decision-making strategy to assist the management staff of the reserve to ensure safe public access to the vlei.

As long as there are no visible layers of blue-green algae scum on the water and laboratory analyses shows that the water is toxin free, the reserve will remain open to the public.

Visitors will receive an information leaflet to educate them about the dangers of coming into contact with algal scum layers that appear bright luminescent green. The reserve staff will continue to make daily observations and report any new scum formations to the City Health and Scientific Services Branches.

A recurrence of blue-green algae scum would result in the vlei being closed to the public again, but in all likelihood, this would not happen during the coming winter.
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