Puffer’s Pond in Amherst closed due to high bacteria levels

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) After bacteria levels were found to be more than six times higher than what they should be on South Beach, and three times higher on North Beach, Puffer’s Pond is not allowing swimmers until at least Tuesday, July 27.

“We go sit in the pond with floaties and enjoy the sun and you know jump in the water when we need to cool off,” said Jacqueline Tremblay from North Amherst.

However, instead of swimming Wednesday, she and her sister Gabrielle were taking a walk with their dog, Ace.

“It kind of stinks but we were expecting it though because we were here a few days ago and with all the rain and the water being so high we were kind of surprised it wasn’t closed,” Gabrielle told 22News.

And that’s what David Ziomek with the town of Amherst said. Impurities like dog waste or an underperforming septic system could be contributing, but it’s not clear exactly what could be the source. Meantime, David said the pond does need to be dredged.

“There’s years and years of sediments at Puffer’s Pond and even the high sediment levels could be a contributing factor to the problems we’re having,” David said.

Puffer’s Pond will be closed until at least Tuesday, July 27, when results are supposed to come in from a weekly test. Puffer’s Pond has seen temporary closures over the past couple of years, having had to shut down for a time in 2020 and also in 2019 after high levels of E.coli bacteria were discovered there.

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