By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — The beach at Stevens Pond will be open to swimmers starting Monday. So far, the blue/green algae that closed the pond last summer have not shown up in water samples, according to Public Works Director Bruce Thibodeau.
The beach is restricted to North Andover residents. A season pass costs $75 while stickers for automobiles cost $20 per car.
Stickers and passes can be purchased at the Joseph N. Hermann Youth Center, 33 Johnson St., Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Proof of residency and auto registration are required at the time of purchase.
After the pond opens, stickers can be purchased only at the pond, which will be open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Swimming lessons will be offered at the pond Monday through Thursday, 10 to 11 a.m. The minimum age is 4 and 4-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult in the water. The cost is $50 per student for each four-week session. The first session will take place July 1 through 25 while the second session is scheduled for July 29 through Aug. 22. For more information, call the youth center at 978-682-9000.
Aquatic Control Technologies, the firm that advises the town on water quality, treated Stevens Pond with aluminum sulfate June 4, Thibodeau said. Commonly known as alum, this chemical discourages the growth of blue/green algae, technically known as cyanobacteria.
Blooms of blue/green algae, which give humans a rash, forced the town to close the pond to swimmers last July. The cyanobacteria stayed in the pond and it remained closed for the rest of the summer.
The beach at Stevens Pond is expected to be open until Aug. 23.