Plan to combat algae would cause slight hike in water rates - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Plan to combat algae would cause slight hike in water rates

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By JOHN SEEWER
Associated Press

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - One of the next steps to combat harmful algae in Lake Erie and other waterways around Ohio will take aim at the state's wastewater treatment plants.

An Ohio Environmental Protection Agency proposal seeks to reduce the amount of phosphorus the plants dump into rivers.

State regulators are targeting phosphorus because it's a key ingredient in causing the algae growth that threatens water quality.

The head of Ohio's EPA says the proposed legislation is expected to be introduced early next year and would force wastewater plants to make upgrades that could cost households an additional $20 a year.

Some wastewater plant operators say any changes will make only a small dent in the problem because nearly all the phosphorus causing algae blooms in Lake Erie comes from farm manure and fertilizer.

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