Slacks Pond Beach closed due to harmful toxins

Slacks Pond Beach closed due to harmful toxins

SMITHFIELD – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management closed Slacks Pond Beach to all recreational use after samples at the Little Beach detected high levels of potentially toxic blue-green algae.

On July 31, the DEM and Department of Health sent out a press release instructing people to avoid contact with Slack Reservoir due to a blue-green algae that can produce harmful toxins.

According to a press release from the DEM, “the water may look like green paint, thick pea soup, or green cottage cheese.”

The algae bloom is visible through a bright-green coloration in the water and on the surface, with dense algae materials sometimes floating on the surface. Blue-green algae can persist in the water even after it is no longer visible, so check with the DEM before entering the water. The pond will remain closed until further notice by the DEM.

Young children and animals are especially at risk to effects of the toxin. Contact with the bacteria can be toxic to humans and animals, causing irritation to the skin, nose, eyes and/or throat. Ingestion of blue-green algae can cause stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. In rare situations, contact will cause dizziness, headache, fever, liver damage and nervous system damage.

Animal's symptoms include loss of energy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea or any other unexplained sickness occurring within days on coming in contact with water.

Clean any area contacted by the water, including clothing, showering as soon as possible. Repeat the process for animals as well. Alson, if an animal comes in contact with the water, do not let them lick their fur.

Contact your healthcare provider or pet’s vet if any symptoms are noticed.

To report suspected blue-green algae blooms, contact DEM’s Office of Water Resources at 222-4700 or DEM.OWRCyano@dem.ri.gov and if possible, send a photograph of the reported algae bloom.