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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: September 6, 2012
CONTACT: Sonya Carlson (603) 271-0698 or 419-9229

Teresa Ptak (603) 271-8803

State Issues Cyanobacteria Warning for Long Pond, Pelham, NH, Dracut, MA & Tyngsboro, MA

Concord, NH – Extensive greenish-blue masses have been observed in Long Pond, Pelham, NH, Dracut, MA and Tyngsboro, MA. More than 50% of the components of the bloom were identified as the cyanobacteria Anabaena. As a result, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) has issued a cyanobacteria warning for those who recreate on Long Pond. The current bloom has been seen on the northern end of the lake but the masses are variable. In windy conditions, the lake appears cloudy. During calm periods, large swaths of blue-green material are seen along the shore. Please continue to monitor your individual shoreline for changing conditions

This warning is intended as a precautionary measure to prevent short term exposure to cyanobacteria toxins and is not based on a toxin evaluation. DES advises lake users to avoid contact with the water in areas experiencing a surface scum or blue-green clouds.  DES also advises pet owners to keep their pets out of any waters that have a surface scum or blue-green clouds.

DES routinely monitors public beaches and public waters of the state for cyanobacteria. Once a cyanobacteria warning has been issued, DES returns to affected waterbodies on a weekly basis until the cyanobacteria bloom is not evident. Cyanobacteria are natural components of water bodies worldwide, but blooms and surface scums may form when excess phosphorus is available to the water.  Some cyanobacteria produce toxins that are stored within the cells but released upon cell death.  Toxins can cause both acute and chronic health effects that range in severity. Acute health effects include irritation of skin and mucous membranes, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Chronic effects include liver and central nervous system damage.

The September 6, 2012, warning will remain in effect until additional samples reveal cyanobacteria levels have diminished. 

Visit the DES Beach Program website for photos and more information about cyanobacteria at http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wmb/beaches/index.htm
Updates on advisories and warnings may be obtained at http://www2.des.state.nh.us/Advisories/Beaches/
Follow the Beaches twitter feed: http://twitter.com/NHDES_Beaches

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. Please call DES to report a cyanobacteria bloom at (603)419-9229.

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