Amherst closes spray park and pond amid heat wave

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AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A spray park and pond have been closed in Amherst during this week’s heat wave.

During times of hot weather, spray parks, and local ponds are essential for cooling off.

Groff Park experienced a broken motor last week, while Puffers Pond had high amounts of e. Coli present. Groff Park opened its splash area again Wednesday afternoon. Joe Woynar with Amherst DPW says that they’ll still monitor the park for any issues, “Anything comes up we’re just gonna keep working on it as hard as we can. I know it’s frustrating. I just appreciate the public patience while we work through this that’s all.”

Puffers Pond on the other hand still has high levels of e. Coli according to a report. We spoke with people at the pond who explained the importance of areas like this. Thomas Oakes of Boston told 22News, “It’s like a place of community and obviously you don’t have to pay so a lot of people can go there with their families not have to worry about any financial cost.”

Humans and animals alike can both get sick from swimming in waters with e. Coli present. This includes vomiting and high fever, and this can last up to two weeks if left untreated. While the pond is closed without a clear timeline for opening, Ray Zimmer from Erving told 22News he’d rather stay safe than take a swim.

“It’s for a real reason so people don’t get sick so I mean you really can’t fault anybody for that,” says Erving. “People are trying to keep people safe and healthy and if you have to take that one on the chin and not go swimming for a day then that’s what you gotta do even if it’s a week or so.”

While there is no timeline for the pond reopening, the water will be tested again on July 17th.

Local News

WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in March 1953 to provide local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Watch the 22News Digital Edition weekdays at 4 p.m. on WWLP.com.

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