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Ohio Utilities Rely on HAB Forecasts to Warn of Summer Blooms

Residents near Maumee and Sandusky bays in western Lake Erie are experiencing an unusually large bloom of Microcystis, which poses a challenge to municipal water treatment plants along Lake Erie.  NOAA’s harmful algal bloom forecast, which predicted the bloom and is providing information on its movement in weekly bulletins, is helping authorities pinpoint when to use expensive carbon filtration to preserve the quality of drinking water in the region.

Under normal conditions, water treatment plants spend $10,000 per truckload of powdered, activated carbon with a truckload lasting several weeks. During a bloom, facilities may use up to two truckloads per week to preserve water quality. NOAA’s HAB forecast helps treatment plants target the use of carbon filtration with much greater precision than was possible in the past.

NOAA has a well-established, tested, and used forecast system for HABs on Lake Erie that draws upon a ten-year investment in its development.

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