Cornelius park officials order test to see if algae is toxic

The color of the pond in Robbins Park is causing concern for the town of Cornelius.

The lime green color is due to cyanobacteria or blue-green algae. Late last week, a city staffer noticed the algae which prompted Cornelius officials to reach out to harlot

A city staffer noticed a discoloration of the pond which prompted testing. The preliminary test shows cyanobacteria or blue-green algae. The blue-green algae blooms can be toxic. However, it's not clear if this particular algae is toxic but Cornelius is not taking any chances while the city waits for test results.

"We're going to go on another walk. Come on Rooney," said Cooper Dissinger, 12. Dissinger is keeping a tighter rein on Rooney especially as they get close to the pond at Robbins Park.

LINK: Dangerous blue-green algae found in Cornelius pond, officials say

"They're talking about some sort of bacteria and algae that could get dogs sick so it makes me more cautious," said Dissinger.

"It kind of looks like pollen. I've seen some in the water but never this bad. It looks really bad," said Oliver Dissinger, Cooper's little brother.

The Dissinger brothers are keeping their distance from the water because of its color and the warning signs the Town of Cornelius just posted this week.

"Folks love to walk their dogs and sometimes the ponds are used by dogs to get a drink of water in the summer heat so we were concerned about our citizen's pets health," explained Troy Fitzsimmons who is the director of parks for Cornelius. This week, multiple signs were posted around the pond alerting residents to keep their pets away from the water.

So far this summer blue-green algae has been linked to the deaths of three dogs in Wilmington which is why Fitzsimmons says they are not taking any chances.

"It sounds like there are several blooms occurring so I'm sure if the heat continues there will probably be more," said Fitzsimmons.

The Dissinger brothers are paying attention to the warning signs posted by the city. They say they will keep walking Rooney their rescue dog but keep him away from the water.

"I just don't want anything bad to happen to him and he's a really good dog. He's sweet and I wouldn't want him to ever get hurt," said Cooper Dissinger.

Fitzsimmons says the town of Cornelius has contracted with a company to treat the water according to EPA standards. It's not clear when they can expect to get the toxicity test results back but Fitzsimmons says it's best for neighbors to keep their dogs out of the water.