ECWA: Algae bloom near Toledo not a threat to WNY water

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Erie County Water authority says an algae bloom in Lake Erie near Toledo, Ohio is not a threat to Western New York drinking water.

"The advantage of being a much deeper part of the lake and an area where the water moves much quicker is that [the algae] does not tend to settle, and as such does not tend to create a big enough bloom to be of any consequence," said Paul Whittam, water quality director at the Erie County Water Authority.

Water authority officials constantly monitor conditions on the eastern end of the lake, and they are in contact with similar agencies as far away as Michigan to ensure the safety of the drinking water for the greater Buffalo area.

ECWA does periodic microscopic analysis of Lake Erie to monitor problematic algae, like the blue-green algae near Toledo, as well as other microscopic organisms.

ECWA also works with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA and its partners have determined there is no cause for concern for the Buffalo area at this time.

Nearly 400,000 people in Toledo are still without drinking water after their drinking supply was affected by an algae buildup and the toxins it can produce.

Ohio's governor declared a state of emergency due to the water situation. He called on the National Guard to deliver food and water to residents.

On Sunday morning, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he was ordering extra testing of Lake Erie water as a precaution:


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