EASTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - An Easthampton pond is now off limits to the public, and it's affecting a business that relies on the water.
Nashawanuck Pond is a popular spot for those who live in Easthampton, but after the state's Department of Public Health received pictures of the algae on the water, the town is taking proactive measures to keep the public safe.
Nashawunuck Pond is located conveniently right in the middle of Easthampton, but for those making their way to pond now, they'll be greeted by signs letting them know the water is unsafe for both people and pets.
The reason? The state Department of Public Health believes there may be cyanobateria algae present.
It's the same bacteria believed to be responsible for the recent deaths of three dogs in North Carolina.
"I see people come with their dogs and they throw the balls in the water, and they go in and go fetch the ball and it's really cute, so, like, just knowing that this kind of algae can kill these types of animals, that really hurts," Promise Oforiokyere of Valley Paddler tells us.
Promise tells Western Mass News that, as an employee of Valley Paddler, a business that gives people the opportunity to rent boats and kayaks on the water, the algae discovery is hurting his bottom line.
"I was pretty shocked, because I was like if we are closed, we were supposed to close at 7:00 today, but I had to close at 4:40. That's like two hours early," stated Promise.
The public is warned not to swim in the water, keep animals away, don't swallow it, and rinse off after contact with the water.
Promise just hopes that, while testing on the water continues, customers will return to support Valley Paddler.
"We would really appreciate them if they came out and explored the pond, and rented some boats and kayaks. That would mean a lot, like, just at least get some kind of funds through the place that we lost at that time," added Promise.
A health agent with the town tells us that they now have to wait for the water to clear up before sending a sample to the state to be tested.
It could be up to another three weeks, pending the results, that the advisory will be removed.