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Mayor Correia issues South Watuppa Water Advisory



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Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II in consultation with the Health Department and Department of Community Utilities is issuing the following health advisory: Due to reports by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) that its testing on July 25th at South Watuppa Pond showed elevated levels of Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria species), people should not swim, wade, ingest or come in contact with the water, scum, foam or algae. This advisory also applies to their pets.

Alga blooms are caused by certain environmental conditions such as warm weather, strong sunlight, and excess nutrients in the water such as fertilizer run-offs and agricultural uses of land adjacent to a water body.

Blue-green algae, when present in blooms or large sheets has the potential of producing toxins that can be found within the algae cells or in the surrounding water when they die-off. Health concerns from algae blooms depend upon the type and duration of exposure as well as the presence of the types of toxins. Contact with blue-green algae can cause skin and eye irritation. Swallowing the water from a bloom can cause upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. When ingested in large quantities, other more severe illness can develop. In some instances inhaling a spray with blue green algae can cause asthma-like symptoms. Animals, because they can lick the algae off their fur, can experience more serious symptoms and may require veterinary care. Anyone experiencing symptoms after contact should seek medical attention.

Pets and small children are more susceptible to the effects of any toxins that could be released by the algae. If your pet has been near an algae bloom, they should be rinsed off and anyone coming in contact with the water should rinse off or shower. Boiling water does not get rid of any toxins that may be present; the water should not be used for any purposes in which it is to be ingested or come in contact with people or animals.

This release is being issued as a result of an abundance of precaution. Fall River works closely with the MDPH (Massachusetts Department of Public Health) and other agencies. When the City is notified by the MDPH that their testing has shown lower levels of blue-green algae, then the advisory will be lifted. Additional information on blue-green algae can be found at: Algae

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