Countermeasures In Place Against Algal Blooms

By ideastream's Brian Bull

A year ago, nearly half a million Toledo residents found themselves without safe drinking water, a crisis that lasted nearly three days. 

Microcystin – which comes from blue-green algae – had reached dangerous levels, prompting the shutdown.

Now, officials they say there are safeguards in place to make sure that situation doesn’t repeat itself.

Ohio EPA spokeswoman Heidi Griesmer says over the past year, the agency has set aside $1 million in state-funded grants for lakeside municipalities to upgrade their water monitoring systems.  So far, 40 have done just that.

“So we have more water systems able to test for microcystin, to figure out what’s in their source water, what’s in their treated water. In Toledo, they also put a monitor out in the crib near their intake.”

Meanwhile, Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson says improvements at the city’s water treatment plant allow for more thorough water cleaning and increased storage capacity.  

The City of Toledo also just moved from weekly testing to daily testing.  Officials say tests show the current amount of toxin is at a level easily treated by water plant operators.

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