Algae bloom found in pond at Cornelius park

Algae bloom found in pond at Cornelius park

CORNELIUS, N.C. (WBTV) - Officials say they found an algae bloom in a pond at a Cornelius park on Aug. 8.

According to Town of Cornelius Parks, Arts, Recreation and Culture, staff noticed an algae bloom forming on the surface of the Robbins Park southern pond. The southern pond is located in the woods behind the tennis courts off Robbins Crescent Drive.

Due to concern over the fish habitat in the pond, staff reached out to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services for advice.

Storm Water Services offered to test the southern pond, as well as the other ponds at Robbins and the nearby Westmoreland Athletic Complex.

Officials say test results determined the southern pond had a majority of microcystis and anabaena, both are cyanobacteria and can produce toxins that are harmful to human health and pets.

Officials say Storm Water recommended advising people and their pets to stay away from making contact with the water at the southern pond. Staff were advised to treat the pond to kill the algae.

“While there is no easy method to determine if the algae in the southern pond was toxic, PARC took action to treat the algae and notify the public,” a press release read.

Officials say a pond management company was hired to treat the algae with a product that is EPA-approved and will not negatively affect any wildlife or native vegetation.

Additionally, PARC staff says they installed several signs around the pond to warn park visitors and their pets to stay out of the water.

"PARC will continue to work with Storm Water and its pond management company until the algae bloom is adequately addressed. Fortunately, much needed rainfall is in the forecast, which should help reduce the bloom. PARC will continue to keep signs posted and provide updates on its website until there is no longer a potential threat.

WBTV spoke with a few people who were walking dogs in the park Tuesday night. They said they were pleased that the town was making people aware of the potential hazard.

“I’m glad they posted it so other people, if they didn’t see it on the news, are aware of it,” explained Cornelius resident Cheryl Rotman.

Rotman was walking two of her dogs through the park Tuesday night. She said they both get near the ponds, especially her golden retriever.

“Sometimes she goes along the edge. If there’s a geese or a duck, she’ll go after it and then she might stop and get a drink a minute so yeah it’s good to know," said Rotman.

Janice Burk was walking her puppy through the park Tuesday night. She said she was very grateful the town had posted signs to warn pet owners.

“I just wanna thank the town for posting the alerts because it will help us keep our pets safe," said Burk.

Robbins Park is located at 17738 West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius.

For additional information about cyanobacteria, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage here.

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