Metacomet Pond in Belchertown, MA, is experiencing a massive algal bloom which has transformed the beloved swimming hole into a bacterial stew. The recent heatwave has warmed the water to 85 degrees fahrenheit, and the recent lack of rainfall has kept the pond stagnant. These factors, combined with excess nutrient runoff from nearby wastewater treatment facilities and lawn fertilizers, have made Metacomet Pond an algal heaven.
In an effort to restore water flow to the pond and break up some of the algae mats, officials have removed a beaver dam upstream from the pond.
The bloom consists of green algae, not the toxic blue-green algae which can cause serious health problems. Despite this, there has been a report of a swimmer breaking out with a skin rash. Officials have advised swimmers to go elsewhere until the algal bloom dies down.