Ohio lake waters get bad rating - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Ohio lake waters get bad rating

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(Toledo News Now) -

The Natural Resource Defense Council and Lake Erie Waterkeepers released their annual beach water report Wednesday. Ohio is considered the worst in terms of water quality at its beaches.

New signs were posted at Maumee Bay State Park, warning swimmers to avoid drinking the lake water, because blue-green algae is known to be in many Ohio lakes.

"This beach is impacted by outfalls from the Maumee and the lake itself," said Sandy Bihn of Lake Erie Waterkeepers. "We can see Detroit from the other end of here, and they have a lot of overflows coming into here."

Sewage overflow from waste water plants and farm runoff from fertilizer are huge players causing pollution in Lake Erie, but Bihn says there are ways to reduce the algae levels.

"If you use fertilizer, make sure the middle number is zero. Once your lawn is mature, you don't need phosphorous, you only need it when you plant the grass," Bihn said.

In 2011, blue-green algae levels were at an all-time high in Lake Erie. Senior Water Policy Analyst Rob Moore says 2013 could look a lot like 2011.

"We haven't seen the blooms yet this year because we've had such a cool spring and early summer, but now temps are expected to start climbing and possibly by Labor Day we could have some problems with blue-green algae," Moore said.

The Natural Resource Defense Council and the Lake Erie Waterkeepers say they are actively trying to combat this problem, and despite the current numbers, they encourage all to come out and enjoy the beaches.

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