Why the reservoir is green (with photos)

The reservoir is blooming, but I’m not talking about the purple loosestrife lining its shores (read more about that here), I’m talking about algae.

If you drive down Route 85 or Middle or Parkerville Roads, you’ll notice a decidedly green tinge to the water. And if you roll down your windows and take a whiff, well, you’ll wish you hadn’t.

“We’ve been watching it build for the last two weeks and by today it should be near peak or at it,” Southborough resident and United States Department of Agriculture employee Linda Hubley told me.

The blue-green algae bloom is a naturally-occurring phenomenon that is exacerbated by nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers and septic systems. It can be dangerous to small children and pets, so keep them away from the water.

In addition to the color, Linda says the reservoir will smell for a while as the algae die and sink to the bottom.

You can find more information and photos on Linda’s website southboroughnews.com. Some photos I took are below. If you can get past the ick factor, the bloom really is quite beautiful. Click to enlarge.

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