LYNN — Goldfish Pond has been shut down and the annual flea market, the Fun n’ Flea Day, held at the park has been canceled because of a cyanobacteria bloom in the water.
The pond was closed down last week and city officials are meeting with their contracted cleanup company, SOLitude Lake Management.
City Council President Darren Cyr said the city has been working on the algae problem for about a year now.
“We were hoping (SOLitude) had taken care of the problem,” Cyr said. “Obviously they hadn’t.”
Last year, he said the company did two treatments — when what they did last year wasn’t working, Cyr said the company switched to another chemical, which was put in twice several weeks ago. But, he said, the pond has just become worse.
The Goldfish Pond Association’s cancellation of its annual flea market comes for the first time in the event’s 38-year history.
“We have been trying to work with the city,” said Kathy Montejunas, a member of the association. “The algae in the pond for the past couple of years has been really bad. It is at its absolute worst this year. The judgment was the algae level was really dangerous if anyone was to come into contact with it.”
Montejunas said the flea market serves as the association’s primary fundraiser. The $2,500 to $4,000 raised annually goes toward maintaining Goldfish Pond and its surrounding park.
The main problem is that it’s a stagnant pond, which doesn’t have a natural water resource pouring into it and water doesn’t have a way to flow out of it, said Cyr. The algae problem is “100 times worse” at Goldfish Pond than Sluice or Flax Ponds because those flow out into the ocean and have a constant flow of water.
“The algae and whatever else is magnified in Goldfish Pond because it can’t flow out,” Cyr said. “Water isn’t being aerated right now.”
Cyr said the pond was taped off and signs were put up once the city discovered the harmful algae.
“(There are) still people down there with kids, letting them play in the water when we told them not to,” he said. “It’s just unbelievable how people can be.”
A spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. McGee’s office, who asked not to be identified, said the pond water is unsafe for people to come in contact with or ingest.
She said SOLitude does the testing and cleanup of all the ponds in Lynn, citing the $15,000 the state budget allocated to the city for fiscal year 2019 for treatment and removal of invasive species in Lynn ponds.
“I think (the algae is) a little bit heightened this year and (we) don’t know the reason why,” she said. “We just want to be as precautionary as possible until we’re able to learn more information and devise a plan beyond the typical cleanup every summer.”
Association members will meet on Wednesday night for discussion surrounding other ways to raise funds for park maintenance.
“Hopefully, we’re able to rectify the problem in the next few weeks,” Cyr said. “My goal … was to get it cleaned up. It hasn’t happened. It’s extremely frustrating.