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10/30/14
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce, Ohio EPA
Elana West, Avon Lake Regional Water (440) 933-6226
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mike Settles, Ohio EPA

Avon Lake Among First Recipients of State Grants to Purchase Cyanobacteria Monitoring Equipment for Drinking Water Plants

Ohio EPA has awarded Avon Lake one of the first grants to purchase testing equipment to monitor the city’s drinking water supply for cyanobacteria. Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler was in Avon Lake today to award the grant and discuss how the state and communities are cooperating to protect local water supplies.

“Avon Lake is one of 23 public water systems that use Lake Erie as their source water. The city recognizes the need to watch lake conditions for harmful algal blooms and be proactive in monitoring its drinking water for the toxins the blooms can produce,” Director Butler said. “We encourage other communities to take advantage of this funding.”

Each summer, Avon Lake proactively monitors its water supply for microcystins, a common type of toxin produced by cyanobacteria. This grant will allow the city to procure a better microscope, microscope camera and staff training to help better identify the sources of cyanotoxins and help focus microcystin monitoring.

Cyanotoxins can be produced during harmful algal blooms on lakes, reservoirs and streams. Ohio EPA has made $1 million available in grants for up to $10,000 per system to help purchase equipment and training. Avon Lake received $9,746.

Ohio EPA conducts sampling when public water systems do not have the means to test. However, having the ability to analyze samples at the local treatment plants rather than sending samples to Ohio EPA or another outside lab will allow a quicker treatment response to detections and target monitoring based on immediate conditions. Given the dynamic and unpredictable nature of cyanobacteria blooms, a quick response is critical.

Grants are available to any Ohio public water system using surface water as its drinking water source. Grant applications are being accepted through June 1, 2015. More information is available here.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

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