Concord, NH – The NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) has issued a cyanobacteria advisory for Showell Pond in Sandown and for French Pond in Henniker. The advisories were issued on June 19, 2006 and will remain in effect until additional samples reveal that cyanobacteria levels have diminished. DES advises lake users to avoid contact with the water in areas experiencing cyanobacteria bloom conditions.
DES routinely monitors public beaches and lakes for cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae. Cyanobacteria are natural components of many water bodies in New Hampshire. Cyanobacteria may bloom and form surface scum conditions when excess nutrients and ample sunlight are available for growth. These blooms may travel to different areas of a lake from wind and wave action. Many cyanobacteria contain toxins that are produced and released during bloom conditions. The toxins can cause both acute and chronic health effects ranging in severity from skin and mucous membrane irritations, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea to liver and central nervous system damage.
DES monitors and inspects public beaches throughout the state to better protect public health. Beach and lake users should be on the lookout for cyanobacteria scums. Often they form dense surface scums blue-green in color; or blooms may cause entire lakes to take on a blue-green hue. Sometimes they resemble paint chips or bright green balls floating in the water.
If you notice anything resembling cyanobacteria please refrain from wading, swimming, or drinking the water. Keep all pets out of the water and contact DES immediately.
For additional information about this advisory contact the DES Beach Program, please call the Program Coordinator, Sara Sumner, at (603) 271-8803, or Jody Connor, the Program Manager, at (603) 271-3414.