Cyanobacteria found at New Pond in Canterbury

Monitor staff
Friday, July 20, 2018

A bloom of cyanobacteria has been discovered at Beach 3 of New Pond in Canterbury, according to a release sent by the Department of Environmental Services on Friday.

The bloom was visible in the water, and a test conducted Thursday found the blooms exceeded the state’s threshold of 70,000 cells per millimeter of cyanobacteria.

Because of the high levels of bacteria, the state issued an advisory to anyone who uses the pond for recreation and asked people to monitor blooms on their private beaches. DES is also asking people to keep their pets out of the water.

“This warning is not based on a toxin evaluation and is intended as a precautionary measure for short term exposure,” the report said.

People are asked to stay away from the blooms, which are blue-green in color, giving the blooms their common name of blue-green algae. The blooms are mostly concentrated around shorelines.

DES regularly monitors New Hampshire waters for cyanobacteria blooms. Since the advisory was issued, DES personnel will be returning to the site weekly to remeasure the water.

Cyanobacteria are found in most bodies of water, but have become a problem when there is extra nutrients in the water causing an aggressive bloom. Some cyanobacteria produce toxins that are trapped in the cell until it dies and the cell wall breaks releasing the toxin. These toxins can have acute and chronic effects on your health, the release said.

“Acute health effects include irritation of skin and mucous membranes, tingling, numbness, nausea, vomiting, seizures and diarrhea,” the release said. “Chronic effects include liver and central nervous system damage.”

More information about the bacteria can be found on the DES website. The department also maintains and updates a list of advisories and warning.