State issues cyanobacteria warning for Sebbins Pond

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has issued a cyanobacteria lake warning for those who recreate on Sebbins Pond in Bedford due to the prevalence of cyanobacteria in the water body.

Deep green-colored masses can be seen floating in lake. The warning is being issued based on visual inspection of the water body and a past history of cyanobacteria blooms.

This warning is intended as a precautionary measure to prevent short term exposure to cyanobacteria toxins. DES advises lake users to avoid contact with the water. DES also advises pet owners to keep their pets out of water. Continue to monitor your individual shoreline for changing conditions.

DES routinely monitors public beaches and public waters of the state for cyanobacteria. Once a cyanobacteria warning has been issued, DES returns to affected water bodies on a weekly basis until the cyanobacteria bloom is not evident. Cyanobacteria are natural components of water bodies worldwide, but blooms and surface scums may form when excess phosphorus is available to the water.

Some cyanobacteria produce toxins that are stored within the cells but released upon cell death. Toxins can cause both acute and chronic health effects that range in severity. Acute health effects include irritation of skin and mucous membranes, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Chronic effects include liver and central nervous system damage.

The Sept. 1 warning will remain in effect until additional samples reveal cyanobacteria levels have diminished.

Visit the DES Beach Program website for photos and more information about cyanobacteria at http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wmb/beaches/index.htm.

Updates on advisories and warnings may be obtained at http://www2.des.state.nh.us/WaterShed_BeachMaps/Water
Shed_BeachMaps.aspx. Follow the Beaches twitter feed at http://twitter.com/NHDES_Beaches.

If you notice anything resembling cyanobacteria, please refrain from wading, swimming, or drinking the water. Keep all pets out of the water and contact DES immediately. Please call DES to report a cyanobacteria bloom at 419-9229.