20 MA lakes and ponds under advisories for ‘harmful’ levels of bacteria

SHARON, Mass. — At least 20 Massachusetts lakes and ponds are under an algae-bloom advisory with “harmful” levels of bacteria, state health officials said Thursday. Sunset Lake in Braintree, Clear Pond in Plymouth and Lake Pearl in Wretham are among the local bodies of water impacted by a cyanobacterial bloom. The list grew from 17 last week.

Lake Massapoag in Sharon reopened Thursday after town officials determined through testing that the water was safe again for swimmers and boaters. However, the town is still keeping a close eye on Community Center Beach in the southern portion of the lake.

“A visible surface scum of cyanobacteria was visible at the Community Center Beach during sampling,” Sharon Public Health Administrator Leandra McLean said. “The beach will be surveyed each morning and throughout the day for any signs of algae bloom. If bloom is present in the [morning], the beach will not open, or if a bloom becomes present throughout the day, the beach will be closed at that point.”

Dave Martin and his son took their canoe out on Lake Massapoag Friday morning. They kept their eyes on the surface for any signs of algae.

“We talked about it, but we heard that one side of the lake was safe. We tried to paddle way out to the right side of the lake,” Martin said.

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Camp Wonderland in Sharon had to scramble for two weeks to find other activities while Lake Massapoag was closed. Camp director Jen Forster said the Sharon Fire Department brought one of its trucks to help hose down the campers.

“After it was done, they asked me, ‘Can we do this every day?’ We really tried to roll with it and make adjustments as quickly as possible, so the kids didn’t feel like they missed out on too much at camp,” Forster said.

While Lake Massapoag is back open under certain conditions, the state is warning swimmers to avoid any water with blue-green algae. Not only can it make you sick, but it can hurt your pets too.

Here’s the list of Massachusetts ponds and lakes under an algae-bloom advisory:

  • Lake Arcadia, Belchertown
  • Queen Sewell Pond, Bourne
  • Sunset Lake, Braintree
  • Seymour Pond, Brewster
  • White Pond, Concord
  • Scargo Lake, Dennis
  • South Watuppa Pond, Fall River/Westport
  • Lake Cochituate (Middle Pond), Framingham, Natick, & Wayland
  • Lake Cochituate (North Pond), Framingham, Natick, & Wayland
  • Lake Cochituate (South Pond), Framingham, Natick, & Wayland
  • Indian Head Pond, Hanson
  • Ashumet Pond, Mashpee/Falmouth
  • Santuit Pond, Mashpee
  • Clear Pond, Plymouth
  • Great Herring Pond, Plymouth
  • Hoyt Pond (aka Orchard Pond), Plymouth
  • Micajah Pond, Plymouth
  • Peter’s Pond, Sandwich
  • Long Sought-For Pond, Westford
  • Lake Pearl, Wrentham