BELMONT — The Allegany County Health Department this afternoon issued the following press release about Andover Pond:

“On Wednesday, routine samples taken by personnel from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) of water from Andover Pond in Allegany County revealed the presence of a widespread blue-green algae bloom on the pond. Toxin data from the sampling hasn’t been received yet, so as a precaution, the Allegany County Department of Health is advising all residents not to swim in the pond or consume water from the pond.  Residents are also advised to keep their pets (e.g., dogs) from swimming in the pond, drinking water from the pond, or having any contact with water from the pond.

“‘Harmful Algae Blooms’ (HAB) typically occur in shallow areas of ponds and lakes during the summer months and they can persist for weeks depending on weather conditions. These blooms often produce toxins that can be highly dangerous to humans and animals if there is contact with, or consumption of, toxin-contaminated water. Until it is determined whether toxins are present with this particular blue-green algae bloom, residents should avoid any contact with water from Andover Pond. No further information from the health department was available this afternoon. The DEC had no specific information to add about Andover Pond, but said there are personnel in its Division of Water who take samples from ponds and who are familiar with HAB.