Health department issues advisory over algal bloom in downtown

Health department issues advisory over algal bloom in downtown

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department issued a public health advisory Thursday for the algal bloom in the Maumee River near Promenade Park downtown. The algal bloom extends from the Anthony Wayne Bridge to Cullen Park.

Test results show the level of microcystin is less than six ppb.

As a part of the advisory, the department recommends children, pregnant or nursing women, pets or people with certain medical conditions not come in contact with the water.

If you have come in contact with the water, the departments recommends rinsing your skin immediately.

"We just want to make sure we err on the side of caution. Just want to make sure people know it's out there and that it's probably not a good thing to come in contact with the water. But if you do, just rinse yourself off," said Lucas County health commissioner Eric Zgodzinski.

Experts say this is more of a visual concern than a health one.

"It's more of a recreational concern. A concern for people who want to enjoy the Maumee River and don't want to see this green stuff at the surface," said Thomas Bridgemen, ecology professor at the University of Toledo.

The city is conducting tests on the bloom.

Zgodzinski, says they haven't confirmed if the algae in the river is from Lake Erie, or if it is an entirely separate bloom.

As of Friday, no algae had been detected in the Ottawa River, but algae was spotted at the mouth of Swan Creek.

Waters will continue to be tested into next week, and the health department will update the public regularly.

"Even if we see it move out, kind of, back into the lake, we'll still be taking samples here. Again, we're just trying to make sure the community has all of the information it possibly can to make a decision they want to do, relative to the recreational water. That's kind of what we're here for," said Zgodzinski.

Ecology professors say it may be years before we see any effects of protecting our water, because it is expensive and time-consuming.

The city's Water Quality Dashboard is still on the 'clear' status and maintains the water is safe to drink.

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