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Newton's Crystal Lake closed until further notice due to algae

Posted by Deidre Fernandes  August 1, 2012 04:24 PM

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Newton officials have closed Crystal Lake, a refuge for adults and young children on sweltering summer days, until further notice because of elevated bacteria levels.

Blue-green algae has spread throughout the lake, likely triggered by warmer-than-usual weather, said Linda Walsh, director of the city’s health and human services.

A water sample tested by the state’s department of public health counted 133,000 cells of blue-green algae per milliliter of water, Walsh said.

The state threshold is 70,000 cells per milliliter of water, she said.

Officials did not find any toxins in the water, which can be more harmful, Walsh said.

This is the first time in recent memory that Crystal Lake has closed, Walsh said.

“It’s sad to see it quieted so early in the season,” she said.

The city’s parks and recreation department holds several summer programs and swim classes at Crystal Lake. Newton officials are looking at what to do with those programs for the remainder of the year, said Aaron Goldman, a city spokesman.

Officials are posting signs around the lake, including by coves where it is illegal to swim, Goldman said.

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at deirdre.fernandes@globle.com

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