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Lake Erie Thick With Algae - Testing Shows 5X WHO's Maximum Levels Of Microcystin For Drinking Water

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-30-10 12:16 PM
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Lake Erie Thick With Algae - Testing Shows 5X WHO's Maximum Levels Of Microcystin For Drinking Water
After years of recovery, Lake Erie is sick again. Ask the boaters who get the spinach-like clumps of algae on their boat propellers, the tourists grossed out by the sight of pea-green water, the property owners picking up whiffs of stench, the beach-goers confronted by signs urging them to stay out of the water, and the scientists who have said at conferences for at least five years that an ecological backslide is in progress.

Biologists such as Roger Knight, who manages Ohio's Lake Erie fisheries program, are drawing correlations between algae-induced oxygen losses and below-average walleye hatches. Walleye are the backbone of the Great Lakes region's $7 billion fishery, which lives and dies with what happens in Lake Erie's western basin, which is the Great Lakes region's warmest, shallowest, and most productive area for spawning fish.

Just how sick is Lake Erie now? And where do the problem spots lie? Those are the questions that are likely to puzzle researchers for generations, given the lake's fickle nature and its unique relationship with mankind.


Lake Erie's water at Port Clinton City Beach had a level of the toxin microcystin that was 4.965 micrograms per liter, nearly five times the World Health Organization's threshold of 1 microgram per liter for drinking water (though less than the 20 micrograms per liter threshold for recreational water). None of The Blade's samples revealed signs of excessive bacteria. Even so, state online records show the health standard for E. coli has been exceeded on eight days this summer at Maumee Bay State Park's Lake Erie beach and on six days at its inland beach. Ohio samples its beaches for bacteria four times a week from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

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catgirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-30-10 12:52 PM
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1. This has been an ongoing problem for a long time

I doubt there was any recovery at anytime.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-30-10 03:54 PM
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2. To make the nuisance algae go away from Lake Erie again will require about a 75 percent reduction in
... phosphorus runoff,"

"Despite improvements, millions of gallons of raw human fecal matter still enter the lakes when heavy rains overwhelm combined sewage systems.

But the No. 1 source of algae-growing phosphorus continues to be farm runoff, according to David Baker, professor emeritus and longtime director of Heidelberg University's National Center for Water Quality"
I had heard that the hot summer made the algae problem bad in lakes all over Ohio. Our landscaping pond is green with algae. Grand Lake St. Marys had to close to swimmers, skiers, sailors, and jet boaters.
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