Discovered three times last year on Ossipee Lake, cyanobacteria are on the rise around the state due to warming temperatures and increased phosphorus from runoff. It can be benign or it can be toxic, and it’s something every lake property owner should understand, as we found out at last weekend’s Wolfeboro Water Summit.
The state advises swimmers to avoid the blue-green algae scum patches and colored flecks that have been found along the pond’s shoreline and coves. Some cyanobacteria produce toxins that can cause human health problems, but the state says the Danforth Pond warning is not based on a toxin evaluation. Instead, it is intended as a precautionary measure.
Early morning hit and run on the big lake has the State Police asking for the public’s assistance in providing leads.
The warning was issued on June 22 after the state collected water samples at the head of the Ossipee River dam. Cyanobacteria are natural components of water bodies worldwide, but blooms and surface scums may form when excess nutrients are available to the water. Potential acute health effects include irritation of skin and mucous membranes, tingling, numbness, nausea, vomiting, seizures and diarrhea. No further blooms have been observed in this area at this time, according to the state.
The new members reflect the organization’s goal of expanding its expertise and seeking ways for Freedom, Ossipee, and Effingham to work more closely on important lake issues.