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Sandwich Pond Health
Cyanobacteria is a very serious concern for human and four legged swimmers. It is present in all of our ponds. With certain environmental conditions, specifically higher temperature and rainfall, cyanobacteria can become dangerous. The approach outlined below allows people to make their own informed decisions about whether or not to swim in the water. Testing provides only a snapshot in time and does not reveal whether a particular bloom is toxic or not. When in doubt, stay out.
The Public Health, Recreation Department and Department of Natural Resources have a coordinated onsite approach to cyanobacteria monitoring and advisories at town beaches Oak Crest Cove Beach at Peters Pond, Wakeby Pond at the Ryder Conservation Area, and Snake Pond. This protocol is memorialized in staff training and follows the Department of Public Health’s Guidance on cyanobacteria which establishes the Town Health Director as responsible for issuing advisories. https://www.mass.gov/guides/cyanobacterial-harmful-algal-blooms-cyanohabs-water#-are-cyanobacteria-regulated-contaminants-in-drinking-water-or-in-recreational-water-bodies?-
Each Morning the staff walk the beach and scan the water for physical signs of cyanobacteria. If visible to the staff, even if it is not in a swim zone, it is logged in the daily log
Gate attendants are notified.
All patrons visiting the beach are notified that a cyanobacterial bloom was observed. Lifeguards, Recreation and DNR Staff advise patrons when they arrive at the beach.
When cyanobacteria is observed in swim areas, the Recreation Director informs the Health Director.
A physical Advisory Notice is posted. Swimming lessons, or Recreation program swimming is cancelled, patrons are personally informed of the Advisory. The dated Advisory remains posted and is only replaced when a subsequent Advisory is needed. Each Advisory lists all prior observations for the season. Many patrons chose to use our waterways after advised. A copy of the Advisory is attached.