, Newburyport, MA

Local News

June 21, 2013

Blue-green algae reappears in Lake Attitash

Boaters urged to stay out of the water


The tests are administered weekly, which means that the earliest the advisory can be lifted is July 4.

Klodenski has said that the blue-green algae blooms are caused by an overabundance of phosphorous in the water, and over the past year the Environmental Protection Agency has been conducting a study of the lake to try to pinpoint the exact source.

The results of that study have yet to be released, and depending on the findings, the association plans to take measures to combat the problem and hopefully rid the lake of the microscopic pest once and for all.

“When we get that information then maybe we can be more active in combating the problem,” Klodenski said. “Where right now we’ve done all we can do because we need more data to decide what to do next.”

Those results could come within the next couple of weeks, Klodenski said.

Although phosphorous is believed to contribute to the explosive growth of the bacteria, blooms can form in the water at any time, particularly in warm, slow-moving waters that are rich in nutrients such as fertilizer runoff or septic tank overflows, the Centers for Disease Control said.

Trying to predict how the bacteria will behave in the future is difficult because its growth is impacted by factors like currents, temperature and the amount of sunlight.

Lake Attitash does remain open when a state health advisory is in place, so residents and boaters can still go out on the water if they choose to. Klodenski said he has seen people out on the water while an advisory is in place, saying his guess is a lot of people don’t pay attention to it.

“But as far as the association is concerned, they should,” Klodenski said. “I think it may be more of a risk for small children and pets, because they’re more likely to swallow water and ingest it.”

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