HomeEnvironmentNabnasset Lake, beaches closed for treatment of 'nuisance' vegetation

Nabnasset Lake, beaches closed for treatment of ‘nuisance’ vegetation

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WESTFORD — The Health Department is treating Nabnasset Lake to manage ‘nuisance’ aquatic vegetation.

This is the second treatment of Nabnasset Lake since beach facilities opened for the season on June 25. The previous treatment was related to a cyanobacterial bloom.

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, occurs naturally in fresh water. Under specific conditions such as warm weather, excess nutrients and sunlight, bacteria can multiply quickly, creating a highly concentrated area, known as a “bloom.” The bacteria can also cause water to appear slightly discolored, cloudy, or resemble paint while emitting an unpleasant odor.

When cyanobacteria cells die, they release cyanotoxins, which can be harmful to humans and animals if ingested.

Flyer posted by the Westford Health Department. (Photo/Westford Health Department)

Ingesting cyanotoxins can potentially cause gastrointestinal and neurological damage if ingested. If inhaled, toxins can cause asthma-like symptoms. In Massachusetts alone, these blooms have caused 389 cases of human illness between 2016 and 2018, according to Bureau of Environmental Health data.

WestfordCAT reached out to Health Director Rae Dick and Health Agent Abby Graham, who were not available for comment on what specific vegetation to department is treating the lake for.

Edwards Beach, Mary Lou Beach and North Beach will again be closed during treatment.

The lake is scheduled to be treated on Thursday, Aug. 18. The Health Department urges residents to avoid using the water until Friday, Aug. 19.

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Ben Domaingue
Ben Domainguehttps://www.clippings.me/bendomaingue
Ben Domaingue has previously worked at newspapers in New Hampshire and is the Managing Editor covering Westford. He’s passionate about community journalism, photography and hiking. Email him at bdomaingue@westfordcat.org.