What are the causes of cyanobacteria?
  • Changes in Ph (phosphorous and/or nitrogen)
  • Cyanobacteria are naturally occurring
  • Failing cesspools/septic systems. Even non-failing systems contribute nutrients as septic systems only treat for bacteria, not phosphorus or nitrogen.
  • Hot temperatures
  • Increased rainfall
  • Sediments in the bottom of ponds contain phosphorus from continuous loading from agriculture, septic systems, stormwater, rainfall, and fertilizers. Under low oxygen environments when temperatures increase can decrease the level of oxygen in the water column, thereby releasing the phosphorus from the sediment which feeds the cyanobacteria.
  • Waterbodies with increased nutrients (phosphorus or nitrogen) will potentially feed the cyanobacteria into a bloom.

Show All Answers

1. How do I know if a pond has been identified as having an active cyanobacteria bloom?
2. How do I report a cyanobacteria bloom?
3. What steps does the Town take when a resident reports a bloom?
4. What water bodies are tested in Plymouth?
5. What are the health concerns associated with cyanobacteria?
6. What does cyanobacteria look like?
7. What are the causes of cyanobacteria?
8. Where can I learn more about Cyanobacteria?