CONCORD (CBS) – Many of the people who planned on coming to White Pond in Concord Wednesday were turned away by a sign that read “White Pond Closed Due to Algae.”
Maureen Cownie takes the message seriously. “Do you want to go swimming in that? No!” she said.
Cownie has lived by White Pond for over 20 years. Cownie and her neighbors know her golden retriever is the most at risk.
“I think it’s a real threat to dogs because of their behavior they go in the water and then the algae material sticks to the fur and then they lick it and ingest it,” David Bearg explained.
The town of Concord says the algae blooms were noticed this morning.
“The algae generally looks like sort of a blue, green gaze,” Erin Stevens, Concord’s Public Information and Communications Manager, explained.
“We have closed it out of an abundance of caution we always close it if we see visible algae just to make sure we aren’t going to get people or animals sick,” she added.
White Pond joins six other contaminated bodies of water on the state’s list, including Crystal Lake in Newton–pending a second test result to clear it.
• Billington Sea – Plymouth
• Crystal Lake – Newton
• Devol Pond – Westport
• Long Pond Marstons Mills – Barnstable
• Shubael Pond – Barnstable
• West Reservoir – Harwich
Neighbors say some years seem to be worse than others and have mixed emotions about the town’s response.
“I don’t even think they have the numbers on this, I think they see the algae and they go ‘Oh, its dangerous!” Alan Aronie said.
The town says first-it goes by what it calls, visible tests, and if they continue to spot the blooms, they order testing.
Some insist on taking their chances.
“No, never have and never got sick,” Aronie responded when asked if he would stay out of the water.
Others are playing it safe until they hear otherwise.
“I take a precaution not to drink the water and to shower afterwards and I’ve experienced no affects,” Bearg said.
“I would absolutely wait. I wouldn’t swim if it was posted not to,” Cownie explained.
The town of Concord says it will continue to keep a very close eye on the water, and all of the blooms will need to clear before White Pond can reopen.