Hidden costs of algae bloom to consumers. Here is excerpt from article:
“In cases where harmful algae blooms (HABs) appear, municipal water treatment facilities drawing water supplies from Lake Erie may need to carry out additional treatment before the water is safe for human consumption,” the report said.
It noted that a survey of 15 public water systems in Ohio showed that 10 used additional treatments on lake water as a result of HABs.
“These treatments included the application of powdered activated carbon, chlorine dioxide, and potassium permanganate. Additional control costs totaled $417,200 for the 10 water utilities, ranging from individual plant costs of $400 to $240,000. It is important to note that algal bloom events of 2009 were less severe than in 2011, and as such, these costs can be seen as a conservative estimate,” the report said.
Ratepayers are wary of the issue, as well. “Public concerns about the impact of HABs on drinking water in Lake Erie were heightened in the summer of 2013,” the report said.
Lake Erie has not always faced such tough health problems. “Once a success story about how a polluted lake can be brought back to life, [it] is once again struggling to survive,” CBC News reported.
The IJC is trying to fight for the lake. Along with releasing the report, the body “announced an ambitious plan to improve the water quality in Lake Erie,” according to The State Column.
It proposed “a 46 percent cut in the average annual phosphorus load in Lake Erie’s central and western basins to reduce the hypoxic dead zone, and a 39 percent cut in the average annual phosphorus contributed by the Maumee River to reduce harmful algal blooms,” Circle Of Blue reported.
The group tried to make sure its recommendations would actually go somewhere.
“The Commission recommended achieving those reductions by applying Public Trust Doctrine legal principles to write and enforce restrictions that have been unattainable using conventional regulation,” the report said. ”