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Water Quality Sampling: What’s in the Water? Sampling for Harmful Algae & Cyanobacteria

May 22, 2021 @ 8:30 am - 11:00 am

Water Quality sampling equipment

This year, the Manchaug Pond Foundation expands our water quality monitoring program to include monitoring for the presence of harmful algal blooms in order to learning more about the waters and the ecology of Manchaug Pond and to protect the health and safety of this water resource.

This action is an outcome/recommendation identified after an intensive survey and study of Manchaug Pond outlined in a Watershed-Based Plan  completed March 2021 prepared by Manchaug Pond Foundation and Comprehensive Environmental Inc. for Mass Department of Environmental Protection.

Our volunteers will sample as part of the Worcester Cyanobacteria Monitoring Collaborative. The Collaborative is a group of citizen science volunteers who work to better understand the diversity of algae and cyanobacteria in the lakes and ponds of Worcester County.  Currently those participating are in the Blackstone River system.

Specifically, each month from May through October, Manchaug Pond volunteers take three water samples from the lake which they will then take to the lab to examine under a microscope.  Commonly found and identified are various species of algae, cyanobacteria, diatoms, zooplankton, etc.

Goals of the Collaborative:

  1. To learn about the diversity of cyanobacteria and other phytoplankton in our local lakes and ponds
  2. To better understand local lake ecology
  3. To determine if a bloom is occurring
  4. To determine if a bloom is imminent
  5. To share information about public health risks at our waterways

Volunteer Requirements:

  1. Attend virtual training session
  2. Sample the third Saturday morning of the month or serve with an alternate volunteer (Between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m.)
  3. Bring sample to the lab held at the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center (Between 10:00 and 12:00 noon)
  4. Evaluate Manchaug Pond’s sample under the microscope (Takes about 20 minutes)

Contact us to volunteer – Currently two samplers are needed for this Manchaug Pond team.

Sampling Days 2021:

  • May 22nd
  • June 19th
  • July 17th
  • August 21st
  • September 25th
  • October TBD

Why do we care?

Algae and cyanobacteria can make the water look and smell unappealing, reduce clarity, and some types of cyanobacteria produce toxins harmful to human health, pets and wildlife.

What contributes:

  • High nutrients: Fertilizers for your lawn and landscape, and animal manures that wash into the lake.  Reduce your fertilizer use, and don’t apply before it rains.  Plant a buffer between your lawn or animal pasture/paddock and the lake.
  • Still water
  • Warm temperatures



May 22, 2021
8:30 am - 11:00 am
Event Tags:
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Manchaug Pond Foundation
Worcester Cyanobacteria Monitoring Collaborative


Manchaug Pond
Sutton/Douglas, MA United States + Google Map
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©MANCHAUG POND FOUNDATION, Inc. ~ P.O. Box 154, Manchaug ~ Massachusetts 01526-0154