Algae bloom detected in Findlay water treatment plant

FILE PHOTO: A sample of the algae bloom in Lake Erie, which was toxic.
FILE PHOTO: A sample of the algae bloom in Lake Erie, which was toxic.

FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) - An algae bloom was detected last week in a reservoir at Findlay's water treatment plant, but city officials confirm the water is still safe to drink.

According to the supervisor of the Findlay water treatment plant, Jeff Newcomer, the bloom was detected September 25 in reservoir #1. Newcomer says he instructed a plant worker to shut down reservoir #1 and put reservoir #2 in service. The Ohio EPA was then notified.

Newcomer says Findlay partners with the Oregon water treatment plant to conduct weekly testing for microcystins in the tap and raw water. He says the tests have shown non-detectable levels of microcystins in both tests, including the most recent test, conducted October 1.

The City of Findlay's first reservoir holds about 1.4 billion gallons and the second holds up to 5 billion gallons. Officials say the city could survive off the second reservoir for a long time.

Newcomer says residents may notice a slightly earthy taste to their tap water for the next few days since the city has not pulled from the second reservoir in a while.

Newcomers also says algae in reservoirs is very common and only until recently has the word algae been a hot topic.

"There's usually algae in just about every body of water. It's a common thing, it's been going on for years, and we've been treating it for years," said Newcomer. "I think the big spark of interest was with Grand Lake St. Mary's and it's kind of snow balled from there. Like I've said, we've always had algae in the reservoirs and it wasn't as big of an issue then as it is now."

Newcomer says with Friday's wind and rain reservoir one could be turned back on if needed.

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