Coventry Lake closed due to algal bloom

A health advisory has been issued for the lake due to a blue-green algae bloom. Neighbors say they are saddened the summer on the lake has been on hiatus for at least 3 weeks.

COVENTRY, Connecticut – Summer the Coventry The lake is suspended until potentially mid-August after a blue-green algae bloom was detected.

The Eastern Highlands Health District issued an advisory on Friday for people to avoid coming into contact with water. This means there is no swimming or water sports at this popular summer destination.

“It’s a vacuum. You want to feel like you can go there whenever you want. We have a pontoon that we want to take advantage of,” Karen Roberts said.

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Roberts has lived by the lake for five years, but spent decades trying to find the perfect home before he moved. She says people come to the area for the lake and it’s disappointing that they can’t use it during the summer.

Michael Burokas has lived on the lake for over two decades. This is the first time that the lake has experienced such a bloom. Burokas says the lake won’t be the same until it’s safe again.

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“There would probably be 25 boats there right now docked, people swimming, enjoying the lake and there would be another 10, 15 boats waterskiing, tubing,” he said. “We’re just going to have to wait, see what happens, so hopefully next year will be a better year.”

City Manager John Elsesser posted on Facebook that they have been monitoring this bloom since last summer and it survived the warmer winter and continued to grow. He said there are treatments but the chemicals could harm other natural organisms in the water and the permitting process would take too long.

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He said it may take weeks to clear up and it may not be until mid-August when people will be able to swim safely again.

“You can still enjoy the lake by looking at it. Going for a boat ride and things like that, but waterskiing, swimming, stuff like that…it’s over,” Burokas said.

The Coventry neighbor said the water was not as clear as it had been in previous years.

Signs posted around the lake warn of potential health risks that could arise from entering the water, such as eye, skin or ear irritation, gastrointestinal problems, muscle cramps and possible nerve or liver problems. Pets are also strongly discouraged from entering or drinking the water.

Rowing, sailing, paddle boarding, and other water activities that don’t involve getting in are considered moderate risk due to the bacteria. Swimming is not permitted at the city’s beaches and people could face fines if they do. Patriots Park and Lisicke Beach are still open.

As the heatwave continues in Connecticut, neighbors are sad that they can’t cool off in their backyard.

“We love living on the lake. It’s unfortunate that it happened this year, but we’re just going to have to suck it up a bit,” Burokas said.

Tony Black is a multimedia reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and instagram.

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