Given the shallow western basin of Lake Erie, the yearly re-occurrence of algal blooms and the current location of the water intake for the city of Toledo in the lake - wouldn't it make sense to move the intake pipe further into the lake into deeper water? Of all the cities that draw water from the lake, Toledo is the only one with issues right now. The only thing that is going to solve the current emergency is strong storms and/or strong southwest winds and there is nothing from preventing it from happening again. This emergency isn't going to end anytime soon. Moving the intake pipe wouldn't be cheap or quick, but how many millions are going to be lost by bars and restaurants? What will happen if the toxins become worse and we can't bathe or do laundry in it? This problem will take a massive toll on the people and the economy of Toledo.
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The problem is that zebra mussels have filtered a lot of turbidity out of the water, allowing more sunlight to deeper depths, which in turn likely allows for more algae growth, such as we are currently seeing. At the rate we are going, this green weed could potentially reach even a more deeply-laid intake crib.
...AND, the toxins the algae produces (which is the actual problem here) would likely penetrate deeper, to.
One of the major causes of these blooms is human pollution. Urban and farm run off is rich in nitrogen and more from fertilizers which feeds the blooms. Better stormwater and pollution management will help reduce blooms.
Quick and easy read on the subject: http://www.sjrwmd.com/algae/
I work a lot with the stormwater industry and this is a major topic for them as this is an increase problem.
If nothing else comes out of this whole fiasco, at least I'm learning more about our water. It's fascinating. The whole cycle, with rain, runoff, fertilizer, pollution, treatment, it really is interesting and something I took for granted.
Hopefully a lot more of us will learn about all these impacts and make changes accordingly.
I had read somewhere that Detroit has a tendency to dump a lot of raw sewage into the river, all that crap flows straight down into the troubled area they keep showing satellite photos of. They are and have been fined for it, but have yet to ever do anything to alleviate the problem.