CHATHAM — People have grown to expect that hot summer weather drives pond algae blooms. But with temperatures cooling into autumn, it was a little jarring last week to hear that Chatham had closed Goose Pond to people and pets after a cyanobacterial bloom was detected.
Given the right conditions, cyanobacteria, which produce toxins hazardous to human and animals, can proliferate even in cooler weather. But it’s not just the temperature that fuels growth. Nutrient loading from septic systems, stormwater runoff and fertilizers are also taxing the health of many Cape ponds and lakes, according to a new report by the Association to Preserve Cape Cod that looked at the health of the Cape’s coastal saltwater and inland freshwater water bodies.
“Given the nature of the problem, we didn’t expect things to get any better on the marine side,” said Andrew Gottlieb, the association’s executive director.