Cyanobacteria blooms found in Temple pond

  • A sample of pond water from Hill Road in Temple shows a microscopic view of cyanobacteria.  Courtesy photo—

  • A private pond on Hill Road showing cyanobacteria algae blooms. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 8/12/2019 5:44:50 PM

July and August are prime time for harmful algae blooms, as one Temple resident found after discovering the blue-green algae in his private pond could be harmful to people and animals.

Scott Hecker, who is a member of the town’s Conservation Commission, is reporting on the findings of state testing of the cyanobacteria he discovered on his property during the Commission’s meeting 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Town Hall.

Hecker’s three-acre pond is contained within his property, but is fed by a tributary of Temple Brook, and is also connected to waterways which eventually connect to Blood Brook and the Souhegan River.

“If there’s algae in my area, there’s algae anywhere downstream,” Hecker said.

Cyanobacteria is commonly found in waterbodies throughout the world, and blooms when there are excess nutrients in the water, which can be caused by runoff, particularly in farming areas, or from fecal matter from waterfowl such as geese. It can cause skin irritation, upset stomachs and can be toxic.

Though cyanobacteria can carry a range of toxicity, the same type of algae is believed to be responsible for killing three dogs in North Carolina last week, after their owner unknowningly took them to a pond with active blooms. 

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services recommends against swimming in any waters experiencing a cyanobacteria bloom, and pets and children should not make contact with the water.

Hecker said he has contacted the DES, and has sent a sample of the algae bloom to the state’s Beach Inspection Program for testing, and in the meantime, has kept his grandchildren and family dog away from the water.

“The dog went in the pond every day, and even before the algae bloom,   the dog was always washed off with a hose after being in the pond, but we’re still taking precautions now,” Hecker said.


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