High bacteria level closes Queen Lake in Phillipston

  • Queen Lake in Phillipston, closed to swimming due to a high E.coli bacteria count, was dotted with visitors Tuesday morning. ATHOL DAILY NEWS/DEBORRAH PORTER

Staff Writer
Published: 5/29/2018 11:13:06 PM
Modified: 5/29/2018 11:13:13 PM

PHILLIPSTON — Though Queen Lake is temporarily closed to swimming, its serenity and clear blue waters lured anglers and sun worshipers to its edge Tuesday morning.

Queen Lake Beach on Route 101 was closed to swimming Saturday due to high bacteria levels, and will remain closed until further notice. The announcement was made by Frederick French, chairman of the Phillipston Board of Health.

Ruth French said, “This is very unusual. I don’t think the lake was closed once last year.”

The water was tested prior to the Memorial Day weekend to start the beach season, and an elevated level of E.coli bacteria was indicated. The cause is not yet known.

Testing occurs at least weekly throughout the summer for the public lake, which is roughly a mile long and a half-mile wide. Year-round residences provide the water’s edge with a bit of color against the backdrop of lush green foliage.

While a disappointment to visitors hoping to splash around to cool off from the sudden change to warmer weather, a few people took advantage of what the lake had to offer otherwise. Kayaks dotted the beach area, as a young man fished from shore. Sunbathers flattened against the sifted sands of the beach lazily raised their heads to greet a newcomer checking out the water, then returned to soaking in the rays. One man pulling his gleaming bass boat out of the water happily reported a productive morning bass fishing.

The water will be tested again this week, and takes a day or two to get the results. Testing is conducted by the Montachusett Public Health Network, of which the town is a member, operating out of the Fitchburg Board of Health.

For more information, contact Frederick French at 978-939-8946.

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