Algae bloom in Redd’s Pond prompts public health warning

The Board of Health has issued a public health advisory warning residents to avoid contact with Redd’s Pond due to a suspected harmful bloom of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria.

Initial visual inspections indicate that the pond is likely experiencing an algae bloom that could produce toxins harmful to both humans and pets. Authorities are urging the public to refrain from the following:

  • Do not swim.
  • Do not swallow water.
  • Keep animals away.
  • Rinse off after contact with water.

Ingesting these toxins can lead to acute gastrointestinal issues and potentially affect kidney, liver or neurological functions, in extreme cases leading to death. Symptoms such as vomiting, staggering, drooling or convulsions in pets should prompt immediate veterinary care.

The algae can make the water appear murky or similar to pea soup or paint. Canine deaths related to harmful algae ingestion have been reported both in Massachusetts and other states.

The advisory’s duration is uncertain, as algae blooms may last weeks or disappear quickly. The board will collaborate with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to monitor the situation. The advisory will remain in effect until two consecutive weekly water samples show algae cell counts below the safety threshold of 70,000 cells per milliliter.

For additional information, contact the Marblehead Board of Health at 781-631-0212.

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