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Environment


Cities share blame with farms for Lake Erie toxic algae
Geological survey report says fed clean-up orders may not have gone far enough
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
Cyanobacteria a.k.a. toxic blue-green algae
Courtesy of Flickr
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In The Region:

A new federal report says the toxic algae polluting Lake Erie is as much a product of Ohio’s cities as its farms. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more…

Schultze on geological survey report

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The report by the U.S. Geological Survey says sewage plants lakeside cities are as responsible as farms for the phosphorus that has triggered massive blooms of the algae that put off liver and nerve toxins. The blue-green algae can dead zones in Lake Erie  that have no oxygen. And that can kill off fish populations. The toxins can also sicken people and animals.

Until now, most of the blame for the toxic blooms has been  put onto runoff from farm  fertilizers and manure. But according to the Columbus Dispatch, the geological survey says its computer models shows that sewer plants are as responsible for the runoff, and that  federal orders to cities to clean up their sewage treatment plants in the 1980s did not go far enough. 

The study lists the number one phosphorus polluter as the Maumee River, in western Ohio, which carries a lot of farm runoff. But number 2 is the Detroit River, which carries mostly water from sewage treatment plants.

v

Listener Comments:

That's not good! How do you kill toxic algae? I hope there is a way to kill it, so people, animals don't become sick, and so the fish don't die off. Now I'm going to think twice about swimming in a pond....


Posted by: Cheyenne Horner (Wellington Ohio) on August 14, 2013 12:08PM
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