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Blue-green algae concerns on some local ponds

New London

(WTNH) — Lately, Joe Ippi has been noticing an algae bloom floating in front of his home on Pachaug Pond.

“It’s been coming in for about two weeks but this is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said Ippi.

Health experts say from mid-August to early September, blue-green algae is often seen on ponds and lakes.

“It’s awful,” said Ippi.

And it can be toxic.

“I have read where it’s poisoned some dogs. I don’t know about here but other places,” said Ippi.

He and his wife say they don’t  know for sure if it is blue-green algae.

But what they do know is that they haven’t seen it this bad in the 40 years they’ve lived there and they’re not swimming in it which health officials say is a good idea.

“If it’s that dark color or discoloration then just assume that it is and then you want to take the regular precautions,” said Patrick McCormack, the Director of Health at the Uncas Health District 

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection can test it. Some algae are toxic and some are not.

In the meantime take precautions. “Making sure you wash off your dogs after they’ve been in the water or don’t allow the animals in the water at all,” explained McCormack.

Dogs may drink it or lick their coat afterwards and if they ingest a toxic algae bloom it can be deadly.

“As far as human exposure you may get an itchiness on the skin,” said McCormack.

He warns people should wash off afterwards and don’t ingest any naturally occurring body of water.

“It’s not like a swimming pool. It’s not chlorinated,” said McCormack. “You always have to assume there could be bacteria. There could be toxins.

“Having it so bad like this I said it’s awful,” said Ippi. “I don’t want to put the boat back in the water.”

Further off shore, where there is more movement, there should be less algae.

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