PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Departments of Health and Environmental Management are urging everyone to avoid contact with seven bodies of water across the state due to the presence of blue-green algae blooms.
A health advisory was issued for the following seven bodies of water:
- Almy Pond – Newport
- Sisson Pond – Portsmouth
- JLL Curran Reservoir – Cranston
- Mashapaug Pond – Providence
- Pleasure Lake, Roosevelt Lake and Elm Lake – Roger Williams Park
Though Sisson Pond is utilized as a drinking water source maintained by Newport Water, the water the company distributes is treated to remove all harmful bacteria, according to health officials.
Residents should avoid all recreational activities near these bodies of water until the health advisory is lifted.
Blue-green algae blooms can produce toxins that are harmful to both humans and animals. Those who come into contact with contaminated water can experience irritation of the skin, nose, eyes and/or throat. Symptoms from ingesting contaminated water include stomach aches, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. More severe effects include dizziness, headache, fever, liver damage and nervous system damage.
Anyone who comes into contact with contaminated water should rinse their skin with clean water as soon as possible and wash their clothes.
Pets that come into contact with contaminated water should also be washed immediately. Pets can experience a variety of symptoms from ingesting blue-green algae blooms, including loss of energy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea or any unexplained sickness that occurs within a day or so after coming into contact with the water.
The health advisory will remain in effect until further notice. Health officials said toxins may still be present in the water after the blooms are no longer visible.
Residents should avoid contact with any body of water that is bright green or has floating algal mats on the surface. Contaminated water may look like green paint, thick pea soup or green cottage cheese.
To report suspected blue-green algae blooms, contact the DEM’s Office of Water Resources at (401) 222-4700 or email a photograph to DEM.OWRCyano@dem.ri.gov.