EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Easthampton Health Department is informing residents of a possible cyanobacteria algae bloom reported at Rubber Thread Pond.

A photo shared with the health department shows a large amount of green residue in the lake, located behind the Payson Avenue parking lot. The photo was sent to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Toxicology Program and they confirmed the algae bloom may exceed the guidelines for recreational bodies of water.

Residents are asked to avoid swimming, fishing and kayaking/boating on the pond until the advisory is lifted. This advisory also includes pets. If you believe your pet may have come in contact with the algae, you should wash your pet and contact your veterinarian.

Cyanobacteria algae can cause skin and eye irritation. Ingesting a small amount may cause gastrointestinal symptoms and ingesting a large amount can damage the liver or cause neurological damage. Small children and pets are more susceptible to the effects caused by the algae.

Algae blooms can be caused by warm weather, sunlight, excess nutrients in the water like fertilizer or human waste, stormwater runoff, or failing septic systems.

Signs will be posted at all access points of the pond. Mass DPH will conduct testing once the algae is no longer visible and the Easthampton Health Department will notify the public once the advisory is lifted.