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Ground Water and Drinking Water

Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water

Cyanobacteria bloomCyanobacteria naturally occur in surface waters. Under certain conditions, such as in warm water containing an abundance of nutrients, they can rapidly form harmful algal blooms (HABs). HABs can produce toxins known as cyanotoxins, which can be harmful to humans and animals. 
Conventional water treatment (consisting of coagulation, sedimentation, filtration and chlorination) can generally remove intact cyanobacterial cells and low levels of cyanotoxins from source waters. However, water systems may face challenges in providing drinking water during a severe bloom event when there are high levels of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins in source waters. With proactive planning, diligent operations and maintenance, and active management, public water systems can reduce the risks of cyanotoxins breaking through the treatment process and occurring in finished drinking water. Please see this video for a brief overview of available tools to support proactive planning for cyanotoxin management.

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