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The original item was published from 6/17/2021 2:42:39 PM to 6/24/2021 5:00:05 PM.

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Posted on: June 17, 2021

[ARCHIVED] White Pond Recreational Water Use Advisory

A public health advisory has been issued for White Pond due to a visible bloom of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). These blooms may produce toxins that can make pets and people sick.

The Concord Board of Health strongly advises:

  • Do not swim in areas where the bloom is visible.
  • Do not allow your pet to swim in or drink the water.
  • Avoid contact with areas of algae concentration- even on shore.  Do not let children or pets play in the water where a visible shoreline algae bloom or scum is seen.
  • Rinse pets and children off immediately if they come into contact with an algae bloom.           
  • Do not swallow water and be sure to rinse off after contact.

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. The current bloom in White Pond as of June 17 appears as a mixed green/blue/yellow floating scum along some areas of the pond edge.  In other areas there is a visible green-blue color in the water (see pictures of the current bloom at the bottom of next page).

Blue-green algae blooms can produce toxins that can make pets and people sick.    Toxins may be present within the algae cells or in the water.  

•          For humans, the primary concern is ingestion of water containing blue-green algae while swimming. Of secondary concern is direct skin contact with the blue-green algae and inhalation of water droplets containing blue-green algae or toxins. 

•          For pets, the primary concern is the ingestion of water containing blue-green algae or scum that has washed ashore or gotten onto their skin or fur. 

PETS--Call your veterinarian immediately if your pet has been around an algae bloom and shows symptoms such as vomiting, staggering, drooling, or convulsions. These symptoms present themselves fairly quickly after exposure. Animals of most concern are dogs. They have been known to eat the scum that washes ashore and/or lick scum out of their fur. In Massachusetts and in many other states, canine fatalities 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.  Town staff will regularly observe White Pond for the presence of a visible algae bloom over the coming days.   The recreational water use advisory and no swimming guidance will remain in effect at least until the visible bloom and shoreline scum subsides.  

White Pond Beach Members will be notified on beach status changes. For information on whether the town beach at White Pond is open for swimming, call the Concord Recreation Department at 978-287-1050 between the hours of 7:30AM-6PM Monday-Friday. Swimming is not allowed at the White Pond beach when lifeguards are not on duty.

For other information, call the Concord Board of Health at 978 318 3275

MA Department of Public Health, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US EPA websites provide further information on blue-green algae blooms: