Beach at Squantz Pond Closed for Swimming
Due to Presence Of Blue Green Algae
Algae blooms may be harmful to people and dogs
DEEP announced today that the beach at Squantz Pond State Park has been closed to swimmers because of the presence of blue green algae which can emit toxins that can be harmful to people and dogs.
DEEP is monitoring the waters to assess conditions and tests are being conducted on water samples from the Squantz Pond swim area to determine the level of toxins and when the area will be safe to reopen for swimming. The swimming area will be closed at least through the weekend.
Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, occur naturally in lakes and ponds throughout Connecticut. These microscopic organisms often go unnoticed and cause no harm. However, when temperatures are high and high levels of phosphorus are carried into waters as a result of storm water runoff, a water body can experience nuisance blue-green algae blooms that may produce and release toxins. When blue-green algae blooms release toxins, people and pets using the water body for recreation can be affected.
“As we do with all of the designated swim areas at state parks, DEEP will continue to monitor these waters and conduct tests to determine when it is safe to reopen the area for swimming,” said Commissioner Robert Klee. “Although the issue of blue green algae blooms is not new, there is now more research and understanding on the toxic effects of these blooms and public health concerns that they raise.”
People who recreate in waters when a blue-green algae bloom is present may be exposed to toxins by ingesting or inhaling water or skin contact. Potential health effects to such exposure could include:
- Irritation of the skin, nose, eyes and respiratory tract.
- Gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea upon ingestion.
- Liver or nervous system effects, if relatively large amounts of the algae are ingested.
“The best way to prevent exposure to toxins produced by blue-green algae is to stay away from the water when you see an algae bloom,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “Pay attention to posted advisories that limit recreational activities in and around a bloom. It is most important that children and pets are kept away from blue-green algae blooms as they may be less inclined to avoid contact with the tainted water.”
Additional information on blue green algae blooms can be found at www.ct.gov/deep/bluegreenalgae
A complete list of water quality testing results at designated Connecticut State Park Beaches – which shows which beaches are open and which, if any are closed – can be found at www.ct.gov/deep/beachstatus