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Carroll Township Algal toxins water problem - Sep 5, 2013

Sep 5, 2013 - WNWO Facebook post

HEALTH WARNING: Carroll Water & Sewer Dist. says Algal toxins were found in Carroll Twp water system. They warn residents SHOULD NOT DRINK THE WATER! Boiling water does not help. They are switching to a new source now and are flushing the water lines. In the meantime residents should buy alternative water for pets, brushing teeth, making baby formula, etc.

A commenter provided this link for additional info:
http://www.epa.state.il.us/water/surface-water/blue-green-algae.html

Map of Carroll Township boundary. It includes the Magee Marsh area over to Davis Besse and just north of Oak Harbor.

Sep 7, 2013 - Toledo Blade story

The chief toxin produced by western Lake Erie’s 2013 algae bloom spiked at such extreme levels along the Ottawa County shoreline this week that it knocked the water-treatment plant serving 2,000 Carroll Township residents offline.

Poisonous microcystin, the toxin in Lake Erie’s most prevalent harmful blue-green algae, microcystis, was found at levels of 3.56 parts per billion in samples drawn from the Carroll Township facility, Heidi Griesmer, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokesman, said Friday.

That’s 3.5 times higher than the 1.0 parts per billion threshold for drinking water established by the World Health Organization.

The discovery was a fluke: The Ohio EPA does not require Ohio’s shoreline communities to test for microcystin, even though western Lake Erie has been coated by scum almost annually for weeks at a time since 1995.

My August 2013 post : Toledo area swimmers warned about toxic algae in Lake Erie, again

Before we northwest Ohio residents get into a lather over fracking in eastern Ohio, we may want to clean up our own backyard and pond first.

More from the Sep 7, 2013 Blade story:

Water-treatment plants operated by larger cities, such as Toledo, have carbon-activated filtration, greater capacity, and other advantages that allow them to remove the toxin more easily. But it’s expensive. Toledo has spent $3,000 to $4,000 a day just on that filtration, while sometimes spending more to knock out the toxin in other ways.

Carroll Township has a conventional ozone system that can be used effectively to combat the algae. But the toxin that accumulated near the plant’s intake was at such levels that it overwhelmed the township’s facility, Mr. Biggert said.

“It’s at a concentration in the lake that’s so high we can’t treat it,” he said. “We’ve never had one like this before.”

Mr. Biggert said he made the decision to shut down the township’s water plant because he saw no other alternative.

Scientists are learning that the toxin and the algae act more independently of one another than previously thought. For many types of algae, including microcystis, toxins are released as algae cells die. Yet, for reasons unknown, colorless and odorless toxins can remain in the water for weeks or months after algae blooms dissipate in the fall, said Linda Merchant-Masonbrink, Ohio EPA harmful algae bloom coordinator.

This summer’s forecast for algae by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration called for a “significant” bloom. It typically peaks in mid to late-September, and fades by mid-October.

NOAA forecasters, though, said this summer's outbreak would likely fall short of the 2011 bloom, one of the worst ever.

In Toledo, officials said Friday they had noticed an upswing in the toxin concentration at the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant, but said it was below the regulatory threshold. Sampling showed levels of 0.42 parts per billion in Toledo, still less than half of the 1.00 parts per billion limit.

The Ohio EPA instructs municipal treatment operators to take extra precautions when levels exceed 0.25 parts per billion, Ms. Griesmer said. Toledo officials said the city’s Department of Public Utilities has increased using permanganate, chlorine, alum, and carbon to fend off the toxin.

#health - #lakeerie - #environment - #nature

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