Marblehead public health officals issue Redd’s Pond advisory

Marblehead Public Health Dept. issued the following statement on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

The Marblehead Health Department has issued a public health advisory for Redd’s Pond due to a suspected bloom of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria.

Based on initial visual inspection of the pond, it appears likely that Redd’s Pond is experiencing a harmful algae bloom. These blooms may produce toxins that can make people and pets sick. Residents are urged to avoid contact with the water and any areas of algae concentration, even on the shore.

During the closure, residents cannot:

  • Fish, boat or allow dogs to swim in the water.
  • If you or your child or dog comes in contact with the water or an algae bloom, rinse off

Blue-green algae can form harmful blooms in lakes, ponds, and rivers that make the water murky, and can sometimes make the water look like pea soup or paint. Blue-green algae blooms can produce toxins that may make people and pets sick. Toxins may be present within the algae cells or in the water.

Ingestion of the toxins can cause acute gastrointestinal distress and, depending on the specific toxin, can affect the functioning of the kidneys, liver, and/or neurological systems and in severe cases cause death.

Call your veterinarian immediately if your dog has been around an alga bloom and shows symptoms such as vomiting, staggering, drooling, or convulsions. These symptoms present themselves soon after exposure. Dogs have been known to eat the scum that washes ashore and/or lick scum out of their fur. In Massachusetts and many other states, canine deaths have been documented due to the ingestion of harmful algae.

When will this advisory be lifted?

Algae blooms may last for weeks in the summer or may disappear quite quickly. The Marblehead Health Department will coordinate with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) over the coming weeks. DPH water sampling will determine when the advisory can be lifted. DPH recommends that the recreational water advisory not be lifted until two consecutive weekly samples show algal cell counts below the safe limit of 70,000 cells/milliliter of water. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to know more information, please call the Marblehead Health Department at (781) 631-0212.

Marblehead News staff
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