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Do municipalities in the Lake Erie Basin test for toxins in drinking water? Does the algae I'm hearing about effect that?

Ohio public water systems are required to conduct routine monitoring for a number of regulated contaminants.  At this time, algal toxins are not regulated and water systems are not required to monitor for their presence in drinking water.  However, due to the severity and extent of the algal blooms in the Western Basin of Lake Erie, Ohio EPA initiated weekly sampling on August 12, 2010 of the raw and finished (treated) water at the 11 public water systems with surface water intakes in the Western Basin.  The primary bloom in the Western Basin is composed of the blue-green algae Microcystis which is known to produce the toxin microcystin.  Results of Ohio EPA's algal toxin monitoring are posted on the agency's HAB website at http://www.epa.ohio.gov/dsw/HAB.aspx.  

Municipalities test for many contaminates regulated by Ohio EPA.  Municipalities are not required to test for algal toxins, however.

Gail Hesse, Ohio EPA

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