Stony Brook University water testing at Bridgehampton's Kellis Pond on Wednesday morning identified a new blue-green algae bloom, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services has announced.
Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, is harmful to humans and animals. Adults should avoid contact with the water and should also protect children and pets from exposure, the county has advised.
"Though blue-green algae are naturally present in lakes and streams in low numbers, they can become abundant, forming blooms in shades of green, blue-green, yellow, brown, or red," the Department of Health Services said in a statement. "They may produce floating scums on the surface of the water or may cause the water to take on paint-like appearance."
Any person or pet exposed to the bacteria-contaminated water should immediately rinse with clean water, the county said. Medical attention should be sought if symptoms appear, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergic reactions, breathing difficulties, or irritated skin, eyes, or throat.
Blue-green algae have also been found in recent years in Wainscott Pond, Poxabogue Pond, Sagg Pond, Lake Agawam in Southampton, and Montauk’s Big Reed Pondand Fort Pond.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation maintains an email address for communicating about harmful algal blooms: [email protected].