WARWICK, RI — The Rhode Island Department of Health and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management are advising people to avoid contact with Little Pond) in Warwick due to a blue-green algae (or cyanobacteria) bloom in the pond.
People should not swim, fish or boat on Little Pond, also known as Sandy Pond, or allow the water there to come into contact with their skin, the state agencies warned. People should not ingest water or eat fish from these waters. Authorities also warn pet owners to keep their dogs well clear of sites affected by blue-green algae/cyanobacteria
Growths of the bacteria cause ponds and lakes to look like green paint, thick pea soup, or green cottage cheese. advise people to avoid contact with any bodies of water exhibiting these signs, due to toxins, including microcystins, that can harm humans and animals, according to the DEM.
To report suspected blue-green algae blooms, contact DEM’s Office of Water Resources at 222-4700 orDEM.OWRCyano@dem.ri.gov If possible, send a photograph to accompany the reported condition.
Blue-green algae can produce toxins, including microcystins, harmful to humans and animals.
Contact with water containing cyanobacteria causes irritation of the skin, nose, eyes, and/or throat. Common health effects associated with ingesting water containing algal toxins include stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Rarer health effects include dizziness, headache, fever, liver damage, and nervous system damage. Young children and pets are at a particular risk for health effects associated with algal toxins. People who have had contact with water containing the cyanobacteria and experience these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.
If you come into contact with the water:
- Rinse your skin with clean water as soon as possible
- When you get home, take a shower and wash your clothes.
- If your pet comes into contact with the water, immediately wash your pet with clean water.
- Do not allow your pet lick algae off its fur.
- Call a veterinarian if your animal shows any symptoms of blue-green algae poisoning, including loss of energy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or any unexplained sickness that occurs within a day or so after being in contact with water.
- Toxins may persist in the water after the blue-green algae bloom is no longer visible.