Biological Hazard in USA on February 17 2016 09:57 AM (UTC).
In a stark reminder of the algae crisis in Toledo, OH, two years ago, toxic algae contamination shut down tap water service for residents of Ingleside, TX. KRISTV alerted residents this month during the shutdown: "This is not a water boil advisory; residents should not drink any local water at all. This includes making ice cubes, food preparation, brushing teeth, or any other activity involving the consumption of water. If you do drink it, you could experience stomach flu like symptoms, liver and kidney damage." Officials were clear-cut that residents should not try to boil then drink the water. "We want to definitively say this is not a boil water notice," Ingleside City Manager Jim Gray said. "In this case that is not the correct thing to do because the bacteria can actually release a toxin when water is boiled." City officials investigated installed "additional backflow preventers to isolate the contamination. The city announced it [would] flush the water lines and continue testing water from the affected area," the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported. The city issued a news release on February 11 saying its water is safe to use. "We have now received three (3) consecutive passing samples according to EPA Health Advisory Guidelines. At this time we are lifting all 'Do Not Drink' recommendations throughout Ingleside. Water may be used by all ages for all purposes. We appreciate everyone's patience and assistance while we worked through this unfortunate event," the city said. Toxic algae contamination can seriously complicate water service. Two years ago, a ban on water use in Toledo, OH, prevented around 400,000 residents from using their water for two days, CNN reported. Given the high stakes of toxic-algae contamination, the topic is an attractive arena for researchers. In one of the latest breakthroughs, researchers at the University of New Hampshire proposed a low-cost way to detect algal toxins. They published their findings in in the journal Aerobiologia. "Few studies have examined risks to wildlife and humans from exposure to airborne cyanotoxins. However, recent research has indicated that cells may be transported as aerosols from lakes with high concentrations of cyanobacteria and microcystins. Since aerosols may be a more direct route of exposure to public health for those recreating or living by a contaminated body of water, we set out to design a method that could address the aerosolization of cyanobacteria released from lake water," the researchers said in a statement.