Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB)

What are Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB)?

Algae are important to the lake ecosystem, and most species of algae are not harmful. Algal blooms occur when certain types of algae grow quickly in water, often in response to increases in nutrients and hot, dry, still weather conditions. Some species of algae (blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria) intermittently release toxins, harmful to the health of the environment, plants, animals, and people.

How do the toxins in HAB cause illness?

Rarely, there may be skin rashes or itching. Mostly, however, the toxins must be ingested to be a problem. Therefore, for the most part, it is safe to swim in areas of the lake that are clear.   But, be reasonable;  do not swim through algal bloom. Do not allow small children to play in shallow water that is not clear. Keep pets out of these areas.  Do not drink lake water. When in Doubt, Stay Out.

What can I do to decrease or prevent algal blooms?
Don’t add nutrients to the lake:

  • Use only phosphorus free fertilizers (middle number is zero) and use them sparingly
  • Plant a buffer zone of deep rooted grasses, shrubs, or natural vegetation at the shoreline.
  • Have your septic system inspected and pumped at least every 3 years.  Make repairs promptly and, if necessary, replace outdated or  ineffective systems
  • Use phosphate-free laundry and dishwashing soap
  • Compost or properly dispose of leaves, lawn clippings, garden waste, goose poop, etc. Not in the lake, please!

CSLAP monitoring, Roaring Brook Lake, and HAB documentation

For eight years, Roaring Brook Lake has participated in CSLAP, an intensive NY state lake monitoring program. One benefit of our participation in the program is our lake’s access to expertise and testing when a problem is suspected. At different times in past summers, residents have identified areas suspicious for HAB which have been sampled.

For more about toxic algae in Roaring Brook Lake, 2009-2017, click here


Photo Gallery: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/81962.html

DOH  https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/bluegreenalgae.htm
Map of confirmed sites in NY state:    http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/83310.html
WHO:  http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/diseases/cyanobacteria/en
CDC:  http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hsb/hab
DEC:  http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/77118.html
NYSFOLA:  http://www.nysfola.org

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Tomorrow, Sat, Oct 21: Special RBL District Meeting, 10 am

Special RBL District Meeting
with Town Supervisor Sam Oliverio
Saturday, Oct 21, 10 am,
Putnam Valley Town Hall,
265 Oscawana Lake Road

RBL Lake Manager Fred Lubnow presents
The State of Roaring Brook Lake: Past, Present, and Future

Fred will talk about previous studies of Roaring Brook Lake that have looked at plants, fish, micro-organisms, nutrients, and pollutants. Where was our lake in the past?  He’ll then review with us the results from the data that he collected in 2016 and 2017. Where is the lake now? And – special treat – he’ll give us a preview of the planned Spring 2018 Lake and Watershed Management Plan.  Where is Roaring Brook Lake heading and what we can do to improve conditions?


Checking out the lake plants in Roaring Brook Lake, June 2017. Couldn’t have been a nicer day!


Come. Bring an inquisitive mind–and your neighbors!

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Putnam County Hazardous Waste Collection  Oct. 7,  9:00 – 12:00 110 Old Route 6, Carmel

Hazardous Waste Collection

Putnam County will hold a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Day for Putnam County residents on Saturday, October 7, from 9 am to 12 noon (rain or shine)  at 110 Old Route 6 in Carmel.  Pre-registration is required –call (845) 808-1390 ext. 43150.

Improper storage or disposal of hazardous waste poses a health risk to residents and their families. HHW Collection Day is an opportunity for Putnam residents to safely dispose of toxic materials such as: household cleaners, pesticides, herbicides, oil-based paint (not latex), solvents, thinners, mothballs, rodent poisons, gasoline, kerosene, small propane tanks (up to 20 pound size), etc. For a more complete list of acceptable items, see “Special Wastes” under “Recycling” on the Green Putnam webpage at http://www.putnamcountyny.com/green-putnam/.

Disposal items must be labeled and identifiable to be accepted. Items not accepted include: water-based paints (latex), used oil, lead-acid batteries, plastic bags, batteries, tires, electronic waste or any materials from commercial establishments. Materials packed into garbage or lawn bags will also not be accepted. Latex paints can be discarded by routine means, after they have been dried out.

Call early to reserve a spot. The Putnam County Department of Health number is (845) 808-1390 ext. 43150 for questions or to pre-register.

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Curbside Bulk Pickup is Saturday, Oct. 7

RBL Curbside Bulk Pick Up
Saturday, October 7, 2017
All items must be out by Friday, October 6, 2017
No items with Freon, No tires
No construction debris
No yard waste
No hazardous materials, No liquids
No paint cans, No propane tanks
No televisions or computer monitors
No electronics of any kind (nothing with a cord)
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Children’s Beach closed Aug 27, 2017 for suspicious HAB

Children’s Beach Was Closed on 8/27/17
Suspicious algal blooms, at the rope designating the swimming area and extending into the swimming area, were observed.

Children’s Beach 8-27-17

The Department of Health, together with Town Supervisor Sam Oliverio, determined that Children’s Beach beach would be closed for swimming on 8/27/17, based on the observed suspicious bloom.

Please apply common sense applies to all areas of the lake where blooms are be observed. Do not swim through algal bloom. Do not allow small children to play in shallow water that is not clear. Keep pets out of these areas. Do not drink lake water. When in Doubt, Stay Out!

For more detailed information about algal blooms, please click here

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Regatta 2017 Schedule


Event Age Time Slot
Bike Race <6, 7-9, 10-13, >14 10:00
Peg hunt up to 6 11:00
Balloon Pop up to 6 11:00
Nail Driving <6, 7-10, 11-14 11:15
3 leg race 10-16, >16 11:45
Entertainment All 12:00
Pie Eating <6, 7-9, 10-13, >14 1:15
Swimming Race <6, 7-9, 10-14, >15 1:30
Greased Watermelon 10-15, >16 2:30
Rowboat Race 10 and up 3:00
Canoe Race 10 and up 3:00
Paddle Board Race 10 and up 3:00
Egg Toss 10-15, >16 4:15
Land Tug of War 10-15, >16 4:30
Award Ceremony All 5:00
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Regatta — Pay in Advance



We’ve extended the time to Friday morning at 9 am.

The PayPal button will only be available until then.  After 9 am Friday, the button will no longer function and you will no longer be able to buy a discounted wristband.

Wristbands will still be available for purchase at the gate, but they will be full price, $10 each.


Go above or to the right of your screen and look for the section labeled Regatta 2017. Look for the scroll-down and choose the number of people age 7 and over who you would like to register. Add the names to make it easier for the volunteers on Regatta Day.  Then, click on the yellow “Buy Now” button. Next, choose to pay with PayPal or a credit card. PayPal is first, credit cards are below, you may need to scroll down to see the credit card area.


Several reasons:

  • For most families, Regatta will cost less than previous years (if you pay in advance)
  • You won’t have to bring cash to the Regatta
  • There will be less food waste.
  • It will make things easier for the volunteers who are working hard to make it a great day.


Yes! All that great food is included in the price of one wristband.


No. Sorry, you can only get food and drinks for yourself.
Otherwise, we won’t have enough!


We hope you’ll buy in advance. We’d like to know how many people are coming.
It’ll save you money and it will be easier for you on the day of the Regatta.
We’ll check you off on the list, give you your wristband and you’ll be all set for a great day!


It won’t. I’s sturdy and waterproof
If your wristband is tampered with or off your wrist we can’t honor it.


Sorry, you will need a wristband to get food or drink of any kind.  Save money, help us be organized, buy your wristband in advance for $5.


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