Harmful algal blooms (HABs) can occur in lakes, ponds, rivers, and reservoirs–including those used for recreation or drinking water supplies–throughout New Jersey. HABs are often formed by cyanobacteria, a group of photosynthetic bacteria also known as blue-green algae. While cyanobacteria are naturally present in most aquatic ecosystems, the extremely high cyanobacterial cell numbers present during HABs can produce dangerous amounts of various toxins, collectively referred to as cyanotoxins. Cyanotoxins pose a threat to human health as well as the health of domestic animals, aquatic plants and other wildlife. Acute illnesses caused by exposure to cyanotoxins can include skin irritation, nausea, diarrhea, headache, fever, liver and kidney damage and respiratory paralysis.
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Is your water safe for swimming? To safeguard the health of the public, the New Jersey Center for Water Science and Technology (NJCWST) is launching a free cyanotoxin testing program (EPA Method 546). Join us to monitor and protect New Jersey’s freshwater resources! Priority will be given to any individuals or organizations with the goal to protect their community against the impact of HABs. Access the sign up form for free toxin testing of a New Jersey waterbody. Space is limited. Please complete the form by June 30, 2023.
Instructions and materials for water sample collection will be provided. Samples will need to be collected the morning of each sample drop off date and delivered to Montclair State University, 1 Normal Ave, Montclair, NJ 07039.
Sample Drop-off Dates
- July 17, 2023
- July 31, 2023
- August 14, 2023
- August 28, 2023
- September 11, 2023
- September 25, 2023