-The Lake Erie algal blooms…
-Toledo residents upset over the toxic Lake -Toledo, one of the state’s largest cities…
-Hundreds of thousands of people without tap water over the weekend It’s been
five years since Toledo’s water crisis left half a million residents without
clean drinking water for three days due to toxic algae.
Since then, The University of Toledo has focused our expertise to ensure the
health of Lake Erie and the public health of our neighbors in the region.
Through creative approaches embracing technology and microbiology, we are now
better able to monitor toxic algal blooms, know more about the effects of
the microsystin toxin on a person and can better filter it from our drinking
water. We are tackling this public health crisis from all angles. Scientists at the
UToledo Lake Erie Center, led by water quality expert Dr. Tom Bridgman, monitor
Lake Erie by boat and by buoy to sound the early warning for water treatment
plant operators as they work to provide safe public drinking water. Dr. Richard Becker has turned to technology to make that monitoring a little easier.
His research has confirmed that low-flying drones armed with sensors are
able to measure water quality in key areas more efficiently than satellite
and boat based sampling. Dr. Jason Huntley has identified
bacteria that can be used to naturally purify Lake Erie’s water. His team is
testing biofilters and specialized bacteria that degrade harmful toxins and
reduce or eliminate the use of chlorine and other chemicals. Doctors David
Kennedy and Stephen Haller worked together to create the first
method to actually measure microsystin levels in blood and urine samples to
assess a patient’s exposure to the dangerous toxin, so clinicians can
provide the appropriate treatment. As a public research university, UToledo
stepped up to respond to Toledo’s water crisis and advanced solutions so that it
doesn’t happen again. Through our ongoing, collaborative,
interdisciplinary research, we can be more confident that when we turn on our
faucets, clean water will pour out.
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