Michigan declares Lake Erie ‘impaired’ due to algal bloom

Toledo has an eight-phase treatment process that wasn’t able to prevent their drinking water from being contaminated by an algae bloom. Toledo’s eight-phase treatment process includes: water-intake 3 miles north of shoreline, powdered activated carbon, alum, lime, soda ash, polyphosphate, chlorine, and fluoride.

Algae blooms can occur naturally in saltwater and freshwater.  Health Canada states it is impossible to detect the presence of toxins in the water by taste, odour, or appearance, you must assume they are present. Distribution of algae blooms in the water column may vary from surface of the water column, a few metres below the water surface or at the bottom of the water body. Humans can be exposed to cyanotoxins, especially Microcystins (MCs), through aquatic animals, edible plants, and dietary supplements. Substantial gaps remain in the understanding and recognition of the hazards and risks of algae blooms and their toxins. Click here to learn more about algae blooms.

Click here to read the full article or an excerpt below.

 

Michigan declares Lake Erie ‘impaired’ due to algal bloom

Lake ErieAn algae bloom covers Lake Erie near the City of Toledo water intake crib about four kilometres off the shore of Curtice, Ohio on Aug. 3, 2014. (AP / Haraz N. Ghanbari)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The state of Michigan is designating its section of Lake Erie as an impaired waterway because of damage to fish and other wildlife caused by harmful algal blooms.

Department of Environmental Quality Director Heidi Grether tells The Associated Press that shoreline monitoring and analysis of satellite imagery have shown that the western Lake Erie basin is failing to meet Michigan’s water quality standards.

But Grether says the impaired-water designation will not trigger a new approach to reducing runoff of phosphorus that feeds harmful algae blooms that have covered large sections of the lake in recent years.

That’s because Michigan, Ohio and the Canadian province of Ontario are already developing plans to slash phosphorus runoff 40 per cent by 2025 from sources including farms and wastewater treatment plants.

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