2013 Lake Erie toxic algae bloom worse than predicted

A toxic algae bloom that covered part of Lake Erie this past summer — and forced the unprecedented shutdown of a municipal water treatment system — was worse than scientists had predicted, according to a new study.

Toxic algae blooms have become an annual problem in western Lake Erie.

Toxic algae blooms have become an annual problem in western Lake Erie.

The 2013 algae bloom was not as large as the 2011 bloom, which covered much of western Lake Erie. But elevated toxins in some areas of the lake this past summer shut down the water treatment system in Ottawa County’s Carroll Township to shut down — the first time that has ever happened in Ohio.

The Toledo Blade reported that the 2013 algae bloom could lead to major changes in water pollution regulations. The Ohio Phosphorus Task Force will soon release a report calling for a “40 percent reduction in all forms of phosphorus entering northwest Ohio waterways,”  according to the Blade article. Such a mandate could farms, cities, golf courses and homeowners. Read the complete Toledo Blade article here.

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