Despite Warm Temps, Gallien’s Beach Closed to Swimmers

The Beaver Lake Improvement Association (BLIA) and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) have issued alerts for cyanobacteria at the Town Beach on Beaver Lake, Gallien’s Beach, and the beach is posted for no swimming. The NHDES alert reads: “A beach cyanobacteria advisory has been issued at Gallien’s Beach, Beaver Lake, Derry. The Town of Derry has not yet opened the beach but an advisory is being issued to alert people and pet owners to the possibility of harmful toxins in the water near the beach. Avoid contact with areas of water that are cloudy and greenish. The alert started May 31 when the last water sample was drawn.”

The BLIA put out the following alert on its website “With the high temperatures we are seeing Beaver Lake could be very busy tomorrow and we are asking Lake Residents to be aware that the area around Gallien’s Beach remains closed for swimming. Swimming in an area with Cyanobacteria (commonly seen as a green or bluish green algae scum) can cause illness.”

The BLIA alert included a report from Craig Durrett, Derry Environmental Coordinator which reads, “At the Town’s Request, NHDES Beach Program Coordinator Sonya Carlson inspected Gallien’s Beach today due to what appeared to be a continued appearance of possible cyanobacteria algae. NHDES collected a sample and recently contacted us to let us know it is still present but at significantly lower concentration (one tenth) than what was observed in the sample analyzed a week ago. NHDES will inspect the beach again next week to collect another sample.”

BLIA President Paula Frank indicated that based on a discussion with NHDES, this may clear up in no time, and it is being seen at Gallien’s due to an atypical wind direction blowing everything toward the beach. Other parts of the lake should be fine for swimming, but individuals are asked to report any unusual patches of algea to a BLIA board member.

Back on May 25 the BLIA sent out the first alert regarding algae bloom discoveries at Beaver Lake near the Town Beach. A sample was taken and driven to Concord for testing on Monday, May 27. NHDES identified the sample as “a mix of the cyanobacteria types…” Cyanobacteria are naturally occurring algae that feeds on phosphorous. Phosphorous can be found in lawn fertilizer, among other things. Fertilizer makes it way into the lake via storm water runoff. The algae could occur anywhere on the lake but the winds from the recent storms have blown toward the beach area.

The BLIA urges people to look at the water before swimming or allowing pets in but it is hoped the cyanobacteria will be limited to the beach area and that it will clear up quickly. The water at Gallien’s will be tested again before the beach officially opens.