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Algae in Drinking Water a Concern
Some water-treatment plant operators along western Lake Erie, where harmful algae blooms are a threat to the drinking water, think there should be state or federal guidelines for detecting the algae inside their plants.

The city of Toledo estimated it spent an extra $1 million last year to combat the toxins. The city even barred residents from using the water because of toxins from algae in the lake.

The algae growth is fed by phosphorus from farm fertilizer runoff and other sources, leaving behind toxins that can kill animals and sicken humans. Without any guidelines on how to remove the toxins, plant operators have come up with their own strategies.

They’ve found that the best option, powdered activated carbon, is also very expensive. Toledo officials anticipated spending $3 million last year to treat its water, but the cost increased to $4 million because it needed more chemicals to treat the toxins.

 
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Bacteria found in Irrigation Water at Loskop Dam - Loskop Dam, Mpumalanga, was built in 1938 to supply irrigation water to the agricultural sector. Due to high levels of nutrients, the algae growth was up to 15m long and drifted down irrigation canals, clogging up control gates and crop sprayers.


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