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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Media Center

DATE: September 7, 2018
CONTACT: Amanda McQuaid (603) 271-0698 (O), 848-8094 (C)

State Issues Cyanobacteria Lake Warning for Hunkins Pond in Sanbornton, New Hampshire

Concord, NH – A cyanobacteria bloom has been observed in Hunkins Pond in Sanbornton, New Hampshire. Samples collected September 7, 2018 contained 87,500 cells per milliliter of cyanobacteria with varieties of Anabaena/Dolichospermum and Woronichinia. New Hampshire uses a threshold of 70,000 cells per milliliter of lake water as a guideline for posting advisories or lake warnings for recreational exposure to cyanobacteria. Nearshore conditions appeared to be layered with green filamentous algae that were surfacing and accumulating along the shorelines. However, overall water conditions contained the varieties of cyanobacteria reported here. As a result, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) has issued a cyanobacteria lake warning for those who use the waterbody for recreation. It is advised to look out for accumulations in other areas of the lake, coves or shorelines. Please continue to monitor your individual shorelines for changing conditions.

This warning is not based on a toxin evaluation and is intended as a precautionary measure for short term exposure. NHDES advises lake users to avoid contact with the water in areas experiencing elevated cyanobacteria cell conditions typically where lake water has a surface scum, green streaks or blue-green flecks aggregating along the shore. NHDES also advises pet owners to keep their pets out of any waters that have a cyanobacteria bloom.

NHDES routinely monitors public beaches and public waters of the state for cyanobacteria. Once a cyanobacteria lake warning or beach advisory has been issued, NHDES returns to affected waterbodies on a weekly basis until the cyanobacteria standards are again met. Cyanobacteria are natural components of water bodies worldwide, but blooms and surface scums may form when excess nutrients are available to the water. Some cyanobacteria produce toxins that are stored within the cells but released upon cell death. Toxins can cause both acute and chronic health effects that range in severity. Acute health effects include irritation of skin and mucous membranes, tingling, numbness, nausea, vomiting, seizures and diarrhea. Chronic effects include liver and central nervous system damage.

The warning went into effect on September 7, 2018, and will remain in effect until additional samples reveal cyanobacteria levels have diminished.

Visit the NHDES Beach Program website for photos and more information about cyanobacteria at
Updates on advisories and warnings may be obtained at
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If you notice anything resembling cyanobacteria, please refrain from wading, swimming, or drinking the water. Keep all pets out of the water and contact NHDES immediately. Please call NHDES to report a cyanobacteria bloom at (603) 848-8094.

A cyanobacteria lake warning has been issued for Hunkins Pond in Sanbornton, NH on September 7, 2018.

The green accumulations nearshore at Hunkins Pond are primarily green filamentous algae, however the lake water contains cyanobacteria with concentrations greater than 70,000 cells/ml.

NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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