Lethal algae blooms – an ecosystem out of balance

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The Lake Erie algae bloom in August 2019.
Photograph: Zachary Haslick/Aerial Associates Photography/NOAA

On 3 August 2014, residents of Toledo, Ohio, woke to the news that overnight their water supply had become toxic. They were advised not only to avoid drinking the water, but also touching it – no showers, no baths, not even hand-washing.

It doesn’t take much to get a water-loving dog to jump in. This dog is perfectly safe fetching his ball, but pet owners should be careful to check out the water conditions before a dog gets near the water. (Photo: Stanimir G.Stoev/Shutterstock)
Thousands of dead fish wash ashore during a red tide algae bloom in Sanibel, Florida, in July 2018. 

Boiling the water would only increase its toxicity while drinking it could cause “abnormal liver function, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, numbness or dizziness”, read a statement from the City of Toledo, warning residents to “seek medical attention if you feel you have been exposed”.

Lake Erie, Toxic Algal Bloom

See today’s Guardian for the rest of the story: