July 12, 2022
On August 2, 2014, the residents of Toledo, Ohio, a port city on the shores of Lake Erie, woke up without clean water. Testing had detected elevated levels of microcystin — a potent liver toxin and possible human carcinogen — in the city’s drinking water supply, and for three days, residents were told not to drink, bathe in, or even touch their tap water. The toxins were traced to a harmful algal bloom, or HAB, a potent green sludge made up of microscopic algae and bacteria that had sprouted in the shallow waters of the lake.
Read more: Toxic algal blooms are driving up water costs in the Great Lakes