[USA] The Harmful Algal Bloom season was officially declared “over” Tuesday morning.
Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson, the University of Toledo, the Lucas County Emergency Management Agency, the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department and the University of Toledo all agreed that the HAB season of 2015 has come to a close.
The announcement took place at the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant.
On Monday, test results from samples taken from the intake crib in Lake Erie and the finished drinking water both came back non-detect. The raw microcystin levels came back at .036 ppb.
The city’s water quality dashboard has remained at ‘clear’ since Oct. 7.
“Since 2014 of last year, we implemented a plan to be ready for this year’s season and the plan worked to perfection,” said Ed Moore, Director of Public Utilities for the City of Toledo.
In 2015, the city began to use an early warning system that allows them to see what the water quality out in the lake is before it hits the intake. Also Chemical capacity was added and a Chlorine facility.
“We added a text messaging system, so now all of our stake holders out in the different communities know what’s going to happen before it even happens. So when we’re getting ready to make a change to the dash board the stakeholders already know,” said Moore.
So far, $50 million has gone into the new improvements and even more money is expected for next year with five new projects in the works.
Dr. Thomas Bridgeman with the University of Toledo says since the water crisis, researchers have learned a lot.
“One thing we’ve learned in the last few years is that each year is different and every year throws us some sort of curve ball. So there’s no usual, there’s no trend right now,” said Dr. Bridgeman.
City officials say water testing will now go to once a week until the harmful algae bloom season kicks in again.
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