Green, Gross and Dangerous To Your Health
Have you ever seen water in a lake or pond that looks like this?
If so, you were probably looking at an algal bloom. Algal blooms are rapid increases in the density of algae in an aquatic system. While algae are a natural component of the aquatic food chain and are typically not harmful, the formation of an algal bloom can be aesthetically unappealing and harmful to the environment. There are many types of blooms. Some are visible and some are not. If visible, most are a greenish color, but they can also be a wide variety of other colors. Most importantly, many blooms can be disruptive to the ecosphere and are toxic to humans, dogs, and livestock.
Algal blooms occur most often in warm, slow moving water during the summer months and are generally caused by an overabundance of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) in the water. While nitrogen and phosphorus occur naturally and are essential plant nutrients, an overabundance can cause the formation of algal blooms. Excess nutrients are introduced into the water through a variety of sources including runoff of excess fertilizer and household cleaning products. Extreme heat and drought weather conditions can increase the frequency and intensity of bloom formations.
Harmful algal blooms can have many negative impacts. First, they can have negative impacts to the ecosystem. They can cut off the sunlight needed by other plants and organisms, and the decomposition of dying algae can reduce the levels of dissolved oxygen in the water which fish and other aquatic animals breathe. Additionally, algae blooms in recreational waters can cause issues for humans, dogs, and livestock using those water sources. Lastly, blooms that occur in drinking water sources can produce compounds that lead to toxicity as well as taste and odor problems.
While water treatment processes (filtration and chlorination) can be effective at reducing the toxins from water sources, an activated carbon filter at your house is an excellent safety measure to ensure you and your family are consuming the cleanest water possible. Aquasana’s