Sep 08, 2010

Water Research Foundation to Host Webcast Sept. 9

Webcast to showcase research to help water utilities manage toxic algae

Various species of blue-green algae have been spotted recently in water bodies across the U.S., causing health authorities to issue warnings to keep people out of impacted water. While typically non-threatening, the algae can bloom in warm water containing an abundance of nutrients. These blooms produce natural toxins that can be potent, particularly to dogs and children.

Because these algae can appear virtually overnight under the right conditions, water utilities often struggle to keep them out of lakes, rivers and reservoirs--and to treat them should they enter drinking water supplies. Currently, no single methodology successfully combats all algal species.

To help utilities become familiar with the latest water management and treatment strategies that exist to control algal toxins, the Water Research Foundation will host a webcast, “Algal Toxins: Source Water Management and Treatment,” at 1 p.m. (MDT) Sept. 9.

“We will share the latest research on source water management and treatment strategies,” said Robert C. Renner, the foundation’s executive director. “Researchers also will discuss methods of detecting and monitoring these toxins.”

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations do not yet exist for algal toxins, but the agency recently included three species--Cylindrospermopsin, Anatoxin-a and Microcystin-LR--in its third Contaminant Candidate List. The list helps it prioritize research and data collection efforts needed to determine if specific regulations are needed.