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"Don't Touch The Water": toxic algae bloom covers Maumee River

 A view of algae in the Maumee River at Cullen Park in Toledo on Wednesday, July 8, 2020.
A view of algae in the Maumee River at Cullen Park in Toledo on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. (WTVG)
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 7:30 PM EDT
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The UT research boat will be scanning the Maumee River to evaluate and test an early and toxic bloom that has engulfed a large area. “To put it simply, don’t go in the water,” says Zachary Swan who is a UT grad student. “I would not recommend anyone touching the water.”

The pictures from Cullen Park in Toledo tell it all. The water has a thick neon green sludge on it.

But residents shouldn’t worry about the drinking water, “We don't intake our water from the river. It comes in from the lake and we haven't seen a bloom out there yet.

UT Professor Tom Bridgman is one of the world's top algae experts. “We saw something like this in 2017, but it wasn't until later in the summer so this is very unusual.”

Bridgeman says the biggest concern with this advisory is any recreational contact. Especially Bridgeman says certain groups of people. “Definitely wouldn't go swimming, wouldn't let pets or small children anyone at risk of accidentally swallowing some of that water I wouldn't take that chance.”

While it isn’t affecting our drinking water, this algae produces the same toxin that shut down Toledo’s water supply a few years ago which is microcystin. “If that toxin is ingested then it can damage the liver and in extreme cases even cause death.

So the river will continue to be monitored closely. “It looks like it's going to continue into Friday at least so we're sampling every day.”

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