Farms are focus of studies on drinking water toxin

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
The findings of a toxin in the drinking water supply of 400,000 people in Ohio and southeastern Michigan a week ago is putting a big spotlight on how it got there.

The City of Toledo water intake crib is surrounded by algae, Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, in Lake Erie, about 2.5 miles off the shore of Curtice, Ohio. More tests are needed to ensure that toxins are out of Toledo's water supply, the mayor said Sunday, instructing the 400,000 people in the region to avoid drinking tap water for a second day. Toledo officials issued the warning early Saturday after tests at one treatment plant showed two sample readings for microcystin above the standard for consumption, possibly because of algae on Lake Erie. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

TOLEDO, Ohio--- The findings of a toxin in the drinking water supply of 400,000 people in Ohio and southeastern Michigan a week ago is putting a big spotlight on how it got there.

Scientists and farmers agree that phosphorus from agriculture runoff is feeding the blue-green algae blooms on Lake Erie linked to the toxin.

Political leaders are calling for more studies to find out why the blooms are increasing and how to control them. But a number of environmental groups say it's time for strict regulations on the agriculture industry.

Researchers say it is clear phosphorus is coming from farmland, but it's much more difficult to pin down exactly where and why.

Ohio's agriculture leaders say they're committed to finding those answers and research is underway to see what works best.


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