Cyanobacteria blooms, which are more commonly known as blue-green algae and pose health risks to people and animals, have been found in Wainscott Pond in that hamlet and Mill Pond in Water Mill, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services announced Wednesday.
Recent water sampling by Stony Brook University determined the presence of algae, along with new blooms in Roth Pond at Stony Brook and in Marratooka Lake in Mattituck. Testing confirmed the continued presence of blue-green algae in Laurel Lake, also on the North Fork. The county advised adults to stay out of the water and keep children and pets away from it. If contact does occur, immediate rinsing with clean water is advised. If symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergic reactions, breathing difficulties, or irritated skin, eyes, or throat develop, the county advises seeking medical attention.
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. Contact with waters that appear scummy or discolored should be avoided." The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation maintains a website dedicated to information about harmful algal blooms at on.ny.gov/habform. Suspected algal blooms can be reported to the D.E.C. by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.