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Environment & Energy

Sandusky Spends to Keep Algae out of Its Water Supply

photo of Algae bloom on Lake Erie, Summer 2014
NOAA
Algae Bloom August 2014

Sandusky is looking to avoid the water problems Toledo experienced two summers ago. With a Lake Erie water intake 40-miles from Toledo’s, the home of Cedar Point is spending more than two million dollars to upgrade its water treatment facilities. 

Lake Erie algal bloom
Credit NOAA / GLERL
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NOAA / GLERL
Algae Bloom July, 2015 viewed from Lake Erie toward Oak Harbor, OH

When Toledo’s water system was overwhelmed by an algae bloom, nearly half a million people were warned not to drink the water. The ban was quickly lifted but its effect shook public confidence. 

At the same time, Sandusky’s water plant was able to keep taps flowing. And, assistant city engineer Jeff Keefe says they want to keep it that way with a system upgrade.

“It would give us the capacity to treat the upper level.  Now, we’ve been very lucky where we haven’t been that high previously.  But we’re looking at in the future.  And it’s also EPA is starting to require these guidelines for any plants where they get the majority of their drinking water from the lake itself.”

The project involves two 50-foot silos to hold incoming water for intensive treatment through carbon filters.  It is expected to be done in about a year.