NH recommends no swimming at more ponds – Yahoo News

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Sep. 18—People should avoid swimming or letting their pets swim in Captain Pond in Salem and Angle Pond in Sandown following a precautionary warning issued by the state Department of Environmental Services about a cyanobacteria bloom in both ponds.

High concentrations of the bacteria can cause skin irritation, nausea or vomiting for people or pets exposed to it.

Sandown’s Showell Pond remains under advisory and has been monitored for its cyanobacteria cell concentration levels since Aug. 2.

In a separate warning, E. coli was detected at Seeley Beach in Sandown, leading to a no-swim advisory there as well.

The potentially harmful blooms appear as murky water with dense algae clumps gathering at the water’s surface and along the shore.

The blooms observed at Angle Pond and Captains Pond appear as green or blue filmy water. Showell Pond’s bloom looks dark with brown clumps forming at the surface.

Blooms occur when excess nutrients are available to the water, said Kate Langley Hastings, a cyanobacteria coordinator at the New Hampshire’ Department of Environmental Services.

“These nutrients can enter from fertilizers, septic systems or storm water run-off,” Hastings said. “Development in the watershed and increases in impervious surfaces can lead to more nutrient run-off into water bodies.”

Although the bacteria is naturally found in water, a large concentration could produce toxins when its cells die.

Hastings and her team work with local communities around the ponds to help track the current bloom conditions. She said factors like the weather can affect the duration of bloom events.

“Cyanobacteria blooms can last several hours to over a month,” she said. “When we have advisories in place, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services does weekly retesting.”

The advisories will stay in effect until cyanobacteria cell concentrations diminish.

In a separate warning, E. coli was detected at Seeley Beach in Sandown. The state is advising that nobody swim or wade in the water.

E. coli is a different bacteria than cyanobacteria and found in fresh and marine waters, Hastings said, adding, “It could be the infrequent-but-large rain events we have had this summer are affecting these patterns.”

Exposure to E. coli can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. The bacteria get into the water from leaking septic systems, runoff from barnyards or from wildlife.


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