BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — State health officials are warning Massachusetts residents not to swim in at least nine local ponds and lakes because of harmful algae blooms.
The blooms, caused by microorganisms called cyanobacteria, were detected this past week in the following lakes and ponds:
- Ashumet Pond, Mashpee/Falmouth
- Great Herring Pond, Plymouth
- Hoyt Pond (aka Orchard Pond), Plymouth
- Lake Arcadia, Belchertown
- Lake Cochituate (all ponds), Framingham/Natick/Wayland
- Lake Massapoag, Sharon
- Santuit Pond, Mashpee
- Scargo Lake, Dennis
- White Pond, Concord
Cyanobacteria blooms can make humans sick, and the cyanotoxins in water where a bloom is happening can kill pets. The bloom can make the water look like pea soup or paint.
Even drinking a small amount of the water can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, while drinking more can cause liver or brain damage, the state Department of Health said. Even touching the water could lead to sickness, and inhaling the water can lead to asthma-like symptoms.
The state warns anyone who makes contact with the water to wash themselves off with bottled or tap water.
Written by Chaiel Schaffel.