Lawns and gardens can add fertilizer and pesticide pollution to local streams or they can protect waterways. Learn how you can have a healthy lawn or garden full of native plants that will attract pollinators and filter pollution.
How do Harmful Algal Blooms Affect Drinking Water Quality?
HABs producing cyanotoxins can occur in water used as sources of drinking water. If not removed during drinking water treatment, exposure to cyanotoxins in tap water above certain levels could be harmful to humans. Additionally, algal blooms can create taste and odor problems in drinking water, such as an earthy and musty smell, which are not cause for human health concern.
If a Drinking Water Advisory is Issued, is the Tap Water Safe for other Uses other than Drinking?
Given the current scientific understanding, it is unlikely that showering, bathing, washing hands, doing laundry, etc. in tap water with cyanotoxin levels near or below the Health Advisory will be harmful to human health. However, infants and young children under the age of six should be supervised while bathing and during other tap water-related activities to prevent accidental ingestion of water. You may also accidentally consume water that is used to prepare or wash your food, make beverages or make ice. If a drinking water advisory is issued, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends using alternative water sources for these activities as well as using alternative water sources to make infant formula.
What are Harmful Algal Blooms and Cyanotoxins?
Cyanobacteria, formerly referred to as blue-green algae, are found naturally in lakes, rivers, ponds and other surface waters. When certain conditions exist, such as in warm water containing an abundance of nutrients, they can rapidly form harmful algal blooms (HABs). HABs can have negative impacts on the ecosystem, human and animal health and on the economy. Some HABs are capable of producing toxins, called cyanotoxins, which can harm humans and animals.