Puffer’s Pond Closed to Swimming


Photo: Pixabay.com. Creative Commons

The Town of Amherst Conservation Department has announced that Puffer’s Pond is closed to swimming due to high levels of E. coli bacteria. The Town conducts water quality testing weekly and new results will be posted on Tuesday, July 9th.  

For more information about Puffer’s Pond and to view testing results visit: www.amherstma.gov/puffers.

Please contact the Town Manager’s Office with questions at 413-259-3002.

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4 thoughts on “Puffer’s Pond Closed to Swimming

  1. Additionally , Groff Park water splash pad has been closed for 2 weeks as they await a part to fix .
    I understand supply chain issues on parts delivery, but how about a sense of urgency to fix the new water park . Many kids rely upon it.
    Get it done DPW..

  2. Is there a relationship between the occurrence of E. coli and the fact that the pond hasn’t been dredged in many years and is gradually filling in on the east side? I’d love it if a reporter could dig in to this…

  3. I have submitted the following questions to the Amherst Board of Health seeking clarification of test results and reporting of the ecoli problem at Puffers Pond.
    Does the Amherst BOH have any oversight for recreational water quality issues at Puffers and work with the MA Dept of Public Health on reporting, testing and resolving quality issues.

    Two things recently prompted these questions.

    The MA Dept of Public Health has a comprehensive online open/closure map of lakes in Massachusetts that also includes individual lake test results. Puffers was listed as safe and open on July 4. No test results were online. This contradiction to the Amherst recommendation was puzzling.

    Another question. According to the MA DPH water quality resource page it states that a geomean score of over 126 for Ecoli is unsafe.
    The July 3 test result conducted by the Amherst Waste Water Treatment Plant published via local media (not on MDPH site) by the Amherst Conservation Commission (reported in an attached pdf in small print) stated that the geomean for the Puffers North Beach is 74 and the South Beach is 146. If one beach’s score is unsafe does it deem the entire lake unsafe? How do other towns handle these types of situations?
    Currently it appears the Amherst Conservation Commission has oversight on Puffers recreational water quality issues presumably because Puffers is located on conservation land. Is that a standard practice for other lakes located in conservation areas to be governed by the Conservation Commission?.
    Who is in charge? Is there a cooperative effort between the Amherst Board of Health and the Amherst Conservation Commission to oversee testing and public reporting not only to Amherst residents but to the MDPH map?
    Finally what action has been taken by both boards to take advantage of the MA Department of Public Health recreational water quality resources?
    A clearer understanding of testing, posting decisions and a plan to fix the problem would be very much appreciated.

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