Town of Sharon says Lake Massapoag may reopen next week

SHARON, Mass. — Bacteria is disrupting a lot of summer plans.

Massachusetts health officials said 17 Massachusetts lakes and ponds have “harmful” levels of bacteria caused by cyanobacteria blooms, including Lake Massapoag in Sharon, Great Herring Pond in Plymouth and Lake Pearl in Wrentham. Earlier this week, Boston 25 visited a Millis farm devastated by flooding and algae.

Sharon town officials said Lake Massapoag could re-open next Wednesday after a series of tests this week.

“Unfortunately, it has impacted camps and events tremendously,” Sharon Public Health Nurse Leandra McLean said. “There are four camps that use the lake, all of which have had to find alternate activities.”

Sharon is following Department of Public Health guidelines to keep the lake closed to all activities until testing confirms an “absence of cyanobacteria.” Results from a round of tests Wednesday showed results within the state’s threshold for what’s safe, the town said.

“MDPH requires two rounds of samples below the guideline level, one week apart, to rescind the advisory. These results will be considered the first low sample, and MDPH will sample again next Tuesday (July 27),” the town said in a public notice on its website.

“This is the first time I remember them actually closing it to all activity. Like, boating and what not,” Stoughton resident Debi Fields said.

Charlie Bene said Lake Massapoag is a jewel of the community and it’s hard to see it so empty and unused.

“It’s eerie, it’s a little scary, too. We really don’t know why. Where did this stuff come from?” Bene said. “[The lake is] something that’s used a lot and when it’s taken away you really do miss it.”