Jamaica Pond closed due to possible toxic algae

People and pets are banned from the water in Jamaica Pond until further notice by the Boston Public Health Commission, which warns that a toxic algae may be growing there.

Swimming, fishing, boating and any other kind of water contact is banned. People and pets also should avoid touching anything along the shore that looks like a greenish scum, which could be the algae.

BPHC suspects that a dull-green growth in the pond is blue-green algae, which can produce toxins that cause a variety of illnesses. Even touching water droplets containing the algae can cause skin or eye irritation. Inhaling or swallowing contaminated water can cause serious and potentially fatal illness.

Anyone who touches the pond’s water should rinse off immediately with fresh water from another source. If a person or pet shows signs of illness after contact with the water, medical professionals should be consulted immediately.

State officials took water samples yesterday to test the water and will have results tomorrow. They will continue to conduct similar tests as long as the suspected algae bloom is visible. BPHC said it cannot predict how long that might last.

Jamaica Pond sits inside Jamaica Pond Park along the Jamaicaway.

For more information, see bphc.org or call 617-530-0186.

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