I-Team: Algae bloom not leaving anytime soon - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

I-Team: Algae bloom not leaving anytime soon

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TOLEDO, Ohio - The 13abc I-Team is giving you some analysis on the water in Lake Erie.  Last week we showed you the conditions.  Now a closer look at what's really out there and how long the problems could last.   

The biggest issue is how close this algae is getting to not only the shore lines but the water intake systems.  A University of Toledo expert the I-Team spoke with Monday says if that blooms is way out in Lake Erie people would not be as worried about it.  That is not the case this time around so there are efforts underway to deal with it. 

With UT professor Tom Bridgeman as our guide, we saw some very healthy algae.  Something that may not be healthy for you.

“It looks very healthy.  It's bright green and that suggests to me that it's not going away anytime soon and we may not have yet reached the peak of this bloom.  It could go on for many more weeks, eventually another month and a half," said Dr. Bridgeman.  “I think as long as treatment can keep up with the bloom, we'll be fine."

That treatment is starting further out into the lake now.  According to a City of Toledo spokeswoman, a newly installed buoy is the new first line of defense.  It detects algae levels in the Lake, the raw untreated water.  It gives the water treatment plant a 4-6 hour head start.

“The toxin ranges vary quite a bit but I imagine there's going to be a lot of toxin in the water for many weeks to come," said Dr. Bridgeman. 

Dr. Bridgeman says the algae concentration the I-Team showed you is not necessarily a surprise but where we found it is the key.

“I'm surprised to see so much of it so close to shore.  Usually it's blown a little bit further off shore," said Dr. Bridgeman.  “If you get closer to shore and near the water intake, it's all the cyanobacteria, it's all the blue green algae that's not good." 

That's the algae dominating all the rest.  So it doesn't look like this bloom and its potential problems to your drinking water will go anywhere anytime soon.

"We've just got to wait it out and make sure our treatment is up to par," said Dr. Bridgeman. 

The testing for the toxin, that prompted the water ban in the first place, is not yet completed on those samples from Friday.  But they know from the large amount of algae present, that the possibly of the microcystin is high.

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