Not only do blooms routinely occur in the lake’s central basin, the story says, they can also produce types of cyanobacterial toxins—toxins produced by cyanobacteria, the organisms responsible for harmful algal blooms—that typically aren’t detected through routine water-safety monitoring.
Area includes Cleveland
Lake Erie’s central basin stretches from about Sandusky, Ohio, to Erie, Pennsylvania, and includes Cleveland.
Justin Chaffin of CFAES’ Stone Laboratory led the study, which appeared in the Journal of Great Lakes Research.
“The cyanobacteria we found in the central basin are completely different from what we’ve seen in the Toledo area in the western basin,” Chaffin is quoted as saying in the story.
“That’s troubling because water treatment plants aren’t typically set up to look for this bacteria or the toxins they create. It requires more expensive, more sophisticated equipment.”
As a side note, Stone Lab’s summer educational offerings include workshops on identifying algae and on managing cyanobacteria in drinking water. There’s still time to apply for them. (Photo: Jeff Reutter, Ohio Sea Grant, via Flickr.)