Tests negative for algae toxin in eastern Lake Erie

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Blue-green algae prompted a ban on tap water in Toledo, Ohio last week, prompting Erie County to conduct extra testing.

County officials test the water for bacteria levels near the beaches every year, but this testing was different. Over the past few days the NY State Health Department tested for toxins, more specifically microcystin, which is the toxin that is in the algae near Toledo that affected the drinking water there last weekend.

RELATED | This algae has closed six beaches on Chautauqua Lake. See what you should know if you see or come in contact with blue-green algae

The tests on this end of the lake are in, and the results, as expected, show no traces of the toxic algae here. Part of the reason is because NY State regulates the phosphorus in agricultural fertilizer more than Indiana and Ohio on the other end of the lake.

Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Health Commissioner said, “Historically, we see this on the western part of Lake Erie, but again the micro environment is different, more shallow in the western part of the lake. So again the concentration of the micro nutrients is greater, the water temperature is greater, so even though we share the lake, we share shores, it’s not the exact same environment.”

“The area around Lake Erie in the eastern basin of the lake where we are is much different from the micro environment in the western basin of the lake and so we have not yet encountered a problem with the blue-green algae which most summers historically that western part of Lake Erie has had problems,” Dr. Burstein added.

Erie County Health Department has never done this particular type of water testing but starting next month, the county will have that capability thanks to new equipment.

WIVB.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s