South Portland Parks and Recreation said it found signs of a toxic blue-green algae bloom in Hinckley Park on Monday.
South Portland officials are still waiting for confirmation from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, but they posted signs around the park’s ponds and closed them out of caution.
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Blue-green algae is a type of photosynthesizing bacteria called cyanobacteria. It exists in all Maine lakes but is harmless in low concentrations.
But when the population of this bacteria explodes during an algal bloom it can sometimes produce toxins that, when ingested, can kill dogs, according to Scott Williams, executive director of the Lake Stewards of Maine. It can also harm humans.
Please keep your dogs away from the water in Hinckley Park. Do not let them drink the water or swim in it.