Algae Blooms a Threat to Public Health

download (17)When a water source receives too many nutrients, algae moves in to eat it. Some types of algae are toxic to humans, creating a significant health risk. This risk isn’t lifted until the algae eventually consume the excess nutrients and die off. Lake Erie had such a bloom last summer. The circumstances were so severe that half a million people had to undergo a tap water ban until the problem passed.

The main culprit for these types of algae blooms is runoff from agricultural areas. When manure or fertilizer gets washed into water sources, nutrients like phosphorus build up. This creates the perfect breeding ground for algae blooms.

This problem is quite large in heavy agricultural states like Ohio, where officials in Greenville have been attempting to control it. Notably, Grand Lake is known for being heavily polluted by agricultural runoff. The EPA has stepped in to help restore water quality, but residents say that the lake has been polluted for well over a century. It will take a lot of time and effort to clean up the lake. Some of the strategies include manure storage, nutrient control plans, and planting cover crops and buffer strips to intercept runoff and contain the nutrients in other plants before it reaches water sources.

Minerals and nutrients in your water can contribute to taste changes, off odors, and even algae blooms in your filter. Get your water tested regularly. Metro Water Filters can inspect your filtration system and your water quality to check for any problems with your water. Call today for a quote.