Cyanobacteria & Cyanotoxins
Aquatic microscopic algae and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) occur naturally in most surface waters, however certain nutrient and temperature conditions can lead them to rapidly multiply, leading to “blooms.” Under certain conditions, some species of cyanobacteria can produce toxic secondary metabolites or cyanotoxins, which may pose health risks to humans and animals. Even when algae is not toxic, it can produce unpleasant tastes and odors.
Cyanobacteria continue to be one of the most problematic organisms in our fresh water systems—with nearly a third of the United States reporting blooms. Without clear guidance or consensus regulations in place, many utilities struggle with responding to events. Since 1994, WRF has completed more than 30 research projects on these microscopic organisms and the cyanotoxins they produce, helping facilities detect, monitor, and manage these nuisance organisms—as well as communicate with the public.
Understanding Cyanotoxins & Cyanobacteria
Cyanobacteria and their pervasiveness in recreational and drinking water sources are a significant challenge for water utilities worldwide. This video provides information on the science behind cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins and a utility perspective on the latest in source water protection, monitoring, detection, and treatment.