Chances of algae bloom in the Valley is unlikely - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Chances of algae bloom in the Valley is unlikely

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The chances of a similar algae bloom, like the one in Toledo, shutting down the Valley's drinking water supply are considered remote.

Early detection is likely what prevented any widespread illness in Toledo. Water suppliers like Aqua Ohio, which serves thousands of customers in the Valley and statewide, have a source water protection plan which is endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“This plan outlines real clearly the monitoring we do of our source water not only at the lake but here at the treatment plant so that we can get early warnings,” said Pete Kusky, Aqua Ohio engineer.

Suppliers like Aqua Ohio have on-site labs where certified employees are continuously monitoring and testing water quality.

The Toledo problem was due, in part, to runoff from farms and treatment plants. Protection from that type of runoff is part of the Aqua Ohio plan. “We have a buffer zone that’s anywhere from 100 feet, depending on which lake it's on, to 400 feet where we like to see certain types of vegetation that are natural absorbers of organic matter,” Kusky said.

Farms and even golf courses also keep the supplier informed as to what types of fertilizers they may be using.

Kusky also points out that its water is Mahoning Valley water. “All of our water comes locally and everything that flows to the north is north of us, so all of our water actually flows down to the Ohio River,” Kusky said.

And it's wrong to think that our recent frequent rains may be part of the problem. “Actually all the precipitation we've had improves water quality,’ Kusky said.


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