U.S.:Algae Blooms Cause Water Quality Problems

Algae blooms in the Great Lakes cause water quality problems every year and now more than $500,000 in state monies has been allocated to use to monitor and test the waters in the lake. In addition, the US Geological Survey (USGS) is setting up thirteen stream gauges in various parts of Lake Erie to aid in the monitoring system.

U.S.:Algae Blooms Cause Water Quality Problems - Clapway

Algae Blooms Toxic to Human and Animals

Algae blooms have caused serious water quality problems in the past. For example, in August 2014, a half-million water customers in Toledo, Ohio, and part of Michigan couldn’t use their water for three days when a toxic algae bloom was seen to travel into the area. It was discovered that microcystin, created by cyanobacteria, had poisoned the water system at levels considered dangerous to humans by the World Health Organization.

U.S.:Algae Blooms Cause Water Quality Problems - Clapway

USGS to Run Initiative to Monitor Water System for Water Quality Problems

The US Geological Survey will be in charge of monitoring the Great Lakes area waters for water quality problems, as they have access to special software called the National Water Information System (NWIS), which aids in acquiring, processing, and storing information about the nation’s water supplies.

While the USGS is now in charge of this venture, the US Army Corps of Engineers will end its jobs as the agency that warns people about blue-green algae water quality problems. Instead of travel into affected areas to sample the suspected toxic algae bloom or posting warning signs, they plan to put up permanent signs that describe how to interpret a possible algae bloom and determine its toxicity. It was thought that the temporary signs used previously caused the public to think algae blooms only happened at specific times, when they can actually show up at any time or place. However, they will still travel to lakes and other waterways that are managed by the US Forest Service and those that belong to some other agencies.

Money Will Help Form Strategy to Address Algae Blooms

The monies that have been allocated for the Great Lakes region will help with monitoring water quality problems, as well as to develop a strategy to handle algae bloom problems when they occur. It is hoped that by collecting data and monitoring, that the area can be kept clean of toxic algae blooms. The funding for the program to help with the water quality problems caused by the deadly algae blooms was especially marked for use by the USGS.