PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) has lifted the public health advisory issued earlier this summer regarding blue-green algae blooms in Easton Pond - North and Paradise Pond in Middletown, Easton Pond – South (Newport and Middletown), Sisson Pond and St. Mary's Pond in Portsmouth, and Watson Pond in Little Compton.
However, as previously advised, individuals should continue to avoid contact with untreated waters affected by blue-green algae blooms in Bailey Brook in Middletown and Gardiner Pond in Newport. Treated tap water originating from Bailey Brook and Gardiner Pond is safe to touch and consume.
In addition, HEALTH has also issued a public health advisory for Almy Pond in Newport. A public health advisory remains in effect for Melville Ponds in Portsmouth.
Recreational activities such as swimming, boating or fishing should be avoided at Bailey's Brook, Gardiner Pond, Almy Pond, and Melville Ponds. People should not eat fish from these waters.
Pets can also be affected by exposure to algal toxins and should not be allowed to wade or swim in, or drink water from, Bailey's Brook, Gardiner Pond, Melville Ponds, and Almy Pond.
These blue-green algae species, typically referred to as cyanobacteria, have the potential to form the naturally occurring algal toxins known as Microcystin and Anatoxin. Although no toxins have been found at this time, it is important that the public avoid contact with untreated waters.
The toxins can cause harm to humans and animals. Skin rashes and irritation of the nose, eyes, and/or throat are common side effects that result from skin contact with water containing algal toxins. If water containing algal toxins is ingested, health effects include stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. People who have had contact with the untreated waters in these areas and experience any adverse health symptoms should contact their healthcare provider.