What causes the toxic algae bloom? - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

What causes the toxic algae bloom?

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The algae bloom is most intense in the shallow western portion of Lake Erie. The algae bloom is most intense in the shallow western portion of Lake Erie.
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A warning not to drink water from the city of Toledo's water system caused by a toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie has left many people wondering, ‘why does this happen?'

Runoff from area farms and lawns, as well as waste water treatment plants feeds the algae bloom. Many of those chemicals come into the lake through the Maumee River.

Although this summer has not been particularly warm, it has been sunny. Algae, like any other plant, requires sunlight to grow. A sunny summer thus far has caused a large algae bloom. That algae creates toxic chemicals. When those chemicals build up in the lake, they make water drown from there dangerous to drink.

Meteorologist Ryan Wichman says the worst may be yet to come, as dry, warm months like August and September tend to cause even more algae growth.

Oregon also draws its drinking water from Lake Erie. The city has a different intake point and requires far less water, though. Toledo draws about 200 million gallons of water from the lake each day. Oregon takes only 16 million gallons. 

Wichman says the bloom is unlikely to move west towards Sandusky or the Lake Erie islands because the lake is much deeper in that area. 

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