It seems like the waters of Lake St. Clair haven’t been so crystal clear and free of algae in many years. Some residents believe that this fortunate situation comes from the fact that there was no rain over the past few weeks.
Rainstorms usually generate fertilizer runoff and sewage discharges on the lake, contaminating the water with many toxins. This way, the algal bloom is encouraged to spread and poison the lakes.
Based on recent reports, Lake Erie also has a beautiful view as experts predict that there won’t be such a large algal bloom this year. Residents stated that the lake water is clear down to the bottom.
According to Sandy Bihn, Lake Erie Waterkeeper Inc. Ohio-based executive director, little rain means little sewage and fertilizer runoff. Bihn stressed that the water is surprisingly beautiful and clear as well.
Usually, large masses of garbage would have piled up in the lake waters, even tampons and toilet paper. Clinton River and Lake St. Clair have been severely affected over the past few years because of municipal sewage systems.
According to the scientists from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Michigan, this year’s algal bloom will be quite small during July and August compared with last year’s bloom.
For instance, the toxic blue-green algae caused the closing of drinking water system in Toledo in 2014. Such a critical situation had a severe impact on around 500,000 people from Southeast Michigan, who had to rely on bottled water for a few days until the problem was solved.
The blue-green algae depend on the high level of phosphorus and nutrients from sewage and fertilizer discharges. Also, this parasite consumes high levels of oxygen creating ‘dead zones’ where fish and other water creatures die.
The toxic algae can be dangerous for people as well, causing rashes and other symptoms. Health officials usually prohibit residents from swimming in contaminated water, especially children, and dogs.
Dogs often swallow massive amounts of water while swimming, so they ingest a lot of algae, which eventually proves to be deadly.
According to Richard Stumpf from the NOOA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the phosphorus level in the lake is still high but hopefully, the basin will remain clear thanks to the fact that there were only a few discharges this year.
Scientists will continue monitoring the lake waters to make sure that the blue-green algae will not take them by surprise.
Image Source:Fond Ecran HD