GOVERNMENT TAKING AGGRESSIVE APPROACH TO ALGAE IN LAKE ERIE
3/20/2017 5:40:24 AM

Algae in Lake Erie.
           
The Federal and Provincial government have released a draft action plan in an attempt to lower amounts of phosphorus and toxic algae in the Lake.
              
Gary Wheeler, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, tells myFM that phosphorus enters Lake Erie from many sources, including runoff from urban centres, agricultural lands, sewage treatment plants, septic systems and many more locations.
                        
He says if aggressive action isn't taken we will continue to see extensive algal growth and low oxygen conditions in the Lake.
     
The action plan's goal is to lower phosphorus levels in the lake by 40 percent.
                 
This has been an ongoing issue for Lake Erie, with Wheeler noting back in 2011 when concentrations of the blue-green algal in the open waters of the Western Basin of the Lake were 50 times higher than the World Health Organization limit for safe body contact.
     
It was also 1,200 times greater than the limit for safe drinking water.
           
In 2014, more than 500,000 people were affected when algal toxins forced the closure of the Toledo, Ohio, drinking water treatment plant, while private water users on Pelee Island were warned not to bathe in or drink Lake Erie water
     
Then in 2015, harmful algal bloom in the western basin of Lake Erie was the most severe ever recorded.
     
Wheeler says individuals can help lower these levels by using phosphate-free cleaning products, reducing fertilizer use, keeping natural vegetation along shorelines, and maintaining your septic systems.
      
   

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