Water tests have shown the presence of the toxin microcystin in Toldedo’s water supply. The question addressed in this article is how to treat your water for removal of microcystin. These are produced by a blue green algae called microcystis.
Here’s a study by Jung Ju Lee, M.S., E.I. at The Ohio State University in 2009 that shows the complexity of removing this poison from the water:
Residents of Toledo should be careful in their use of home water purification systems for this purpose. From what I’ve read and been able to discern your typical home water treatment devices, such as carbon filtration and undersink reverse osmosis systems may not be effective in removing this poison.
I would normally suggest a whole house water filter plus UV light and possible reverse osmosis at the kitchen sink in a situation like this. But the study above notes that different types of carbon than are typically used in home treatment devices may be more effective at removal and different types of RO membranes are more effective than others. This is a level of complexity that the typical consumer will not find answers for in their research on effective filters for removal of microcystin.
For now I suggest continuing the use of bottled water, even though that is a temporary solution and this problem may be one that once solved can reoccur. You can see the specific bottled waters that I recommend here.
As I learn more I will post it on this blog. In the meantime feel welcome to post your questions and I will attempt to answer those.
Here’s a good description of what this toxin is: http://www.mnn.com/family/protection-safety/stories/what-is-microcystin
And here’s what appears to be an excellent article about the severity of this issue, meaning in part that it is not confined to Toledo. Check out these two quotes from the article:
“Last year alone, 20 states reported nearly 150 separate toxic algal blooms in lakes rivers and ponds, including 10 in Ohio and 50 in New York, according to National Wildlife Federation data.”
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not regulate agricultural runoff, leaving such effluent to be governed by local agencies whose philosophies and standards vary from state to state.”
Here’s the link:
How To Treat Your Water for Removal of Microcystin
If you’ve read this don’t call me to ask me how to remove the toxin from you water. I don’t know and I don’t believe that other water treatment dealers will know either. Instead read the paper above on that topic. When I do know I will add that to this post. You can use a whole house UV light to kill the mycrocystis, but that won’t remove the toxin it produces.