Summer Brings Threat of Toxic Blue-Green Algae
by Al Meder
Each year one is likely to read of the “Toxic Blue Green Algae” that appear in many of our lakes. Last summer, Lake Erie hit the headlines and the 400,000 residents of Toledo could not use their tap water at all for three days.
With summer now upon us, the publicity is sure to rise again, and not just around Lake Erie. Most states have this algae problem, as I have pointed out in an earlier blog.
To one who is educated in biology, there is not one problem here but rather two. While green algae blooms occur frequently, there is another culprit which is often referred to as “blue-green algae” when technically it is not. The culprit is in fact bacteria with the name “cyanobacteria”. Cyanobacteria are also green and the toxins produced by the cyanobacteria are what the authorities in Toledo last summer were concerned about. The cyanobacteria and algae get grouped together by news reporters because both are blue-green in color.
But cyanobacteria are a serious concern.
“Cyanobacteria can produce neurotoxins, cytotoxins, endotoxins, and hepatotoxins (i.e. the microcystin producing bacteria species microcystis), and are called cyanotoxins” ……..Wikipedia.
The cyanobacteria were the reason the authorities cautioned residents against “boiling the water” before drinking it. Boiling, in fact, concentrates the cyanotoxins in the water being boiled while the steam produced is actually free of toxins.
We had the science department of the University of Nebraska test this water last year after it had been put through a Pure Water distiller, and as we expected, “distillation effectively lowered the concentration of the three cyanotoxins below instrument detection limits.”
It is for this reason that those consumers in Toledo who had a well-designed water distiller, could keep on drinking the water from Lake Erie when other residents could not.
Al Meder, is President, Pure & Secure LLC, maker of the AquaNui-brand premium water distillers. Pure & Secure is a family-owned and operated business located in the USA Heartland.