In the past, the City of Worcester Inspectional Services Division primarily tested the beaches at Indian Lake for coliform bacteria during the 6 weeks they were open each season. All the outfalls are also being tested regularly now to ensure any negative condition that could be affecting Indian Lake is identified immediately.
Based on our request, the City of Worcester has recently signed a commitment for algae testing to be done at the lake this year. Algae is a natural occurrence in lakes, however excessive algae blooms and the presence of blue-green algae are key signs of too many nutrients in the lake and a lake's deterioration.
There are no requirements for algae testing. Once blue-green algae is found in elevated levels though, as with last summer, access to the water body is limited. Blue-green algae itself is rarely harmful yet when this type of algae dies, it can produce harmful toxins that can cause illness.
For best management, it is important to begin regular algae testing so we can do everything possible to stay ahead of any change in normal conditions for Indian Lake.
It is important to acknowledge the City's effort to move this forward.
Secchi disk readings will be starting this week to monitor the lake's clarity.
We continue to seek volunteers to help monitor additional lake parameters that will chart our progress.