NEW CASTLE, Ind. – Emergency management officials closed three ponds and the creek at Henry County Memorial Park because of a suspected algal bloom.
The county’s hazardous material team, New Castle Fire Department, Emergency Management, Department of Natural Resources and Indiana Department of Environmental Management conducted tests on the ponds to determine what was floating in the water.
Residents have reported seeing fish washed up on the bank.
One of the tests found that the oxygen content in the water was low enough to cause a fish kill. The New Castle, Mount Summit and other fire departments drafted and sprayed the pond in order to aerate the water.
People and pets are advised to steer clear of the ponds and avoid contact with the water. The upper pond remains open for fishing as do playgrounds and other park amenities, according to park officials. The closures will last for at least a week.
Algal blooms are a rapid increase of algae in water brought on by excess nutrients from the use of fertilizers and other sources. They can be toxic.