PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Departments of Health and Environmental Management are advising the public to avoid contact with Little Pond in Warwick due to high levels of potentially dangerous blue-green algae.
Contact with the contaminated water can cause a number of adverse health effects, including irritation of the skin, nose, eyes and/or throat. Ingestion of the water can cause stomachache, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
Officials say young children and pets are particularly susceptible due to their size and higher probability of coming into contact or drinking the water.
Anyone who does come into contact with potentially contaminated water should rinse their skin with clean water as soon as possible, then bathe and wash their clothes, according to health officials, while pets should be washed with clean water and kept from licking their fur.
If the pet shows symptoms such as loss of energy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea or any sickness, officials say to contact a veterinarian.
In the meantime, a similar advisory has been lifted for Georgiaville Pond in Smithfield after recent tests came back negative for blue-green algae.
Health advisories remain in place for the following bodies of water:
- Cranston: Spectacle Pond
- Cranston: Blackamore Pond
- East Providence: Central Pond
- East Providence: Ten Mile River
- East Providence: Omega Pond
- Newport: Almy Pond
- North Smithfield: Tarkiln Pond
- Portsmouth: Melville Ponds
- Portsmouth: Sisson Pond
- Providence: Mashapaug Pond
- Providence: Roosevelt, Willow, Edgewood, and Pleasure Lakes, Japanese Gardens (all in Roger Williams Park)
- Rumford: Turner Reservoir
- Smithfield-Johnston: Slack Reservoir
Other bodies of water in Rhode Island may be affected by blue-green algae. The public is urged to avoid contact with any body of water that appears bright green or has a dense algal mat floating on the surface. Blue-green algae blooms may look like green paint or thick pea soup.
Officials also noted that toxins may remain in a body of water after algae is no longer visible.