MONCTON, NB: BLUE-GREEN ALGAE IN GREATER MONCTON'S SOURCE OF DRINKING WATER
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By Cori Marshall
Blue-green algae are concerning anywhere, though especially when it is found in a city's source of drinking water. Blue-green has been detected in Greater Moncton's source of drinking water, the Turtle Creek watershed.
This is not the first time blue-green has been observed in the watershed. Isabelle LeBlanc, Director of Corporate Communications for the City of Moncton, said that "it was detected last year." She explained that "it is difficult to predict if or when an algal bloom will occur." LeBlanc added, "sometimes they happen annually, sometimes they happen for a few consecutive years and then cease."
When asked about the cause of the presence this year, LeBlanc underlined that "there are many factors involved with the proliferation of algal species," and "no one cause has been identified."
Though there is a presence in the water LeBlanc assured "there is currently no bloom," and the "water is currently safe to consume and to use for bathing, cooking and washing."
"Since there is no bloom, there is currently no effect on water treatment," LeBlanc said. She explained, "the raw water intake for Moncton's water treatment plant is deep, and algae prefer to remain near the surface."
"Should algae enter in the raw water, they can cause issues with 'plugging', especially during the filtration process."
Isabelle LeBlanc, Director of Corporate Communications for the City of Moncton
"The city is evaluating potential mitigation options, and has hired two consultants to assist," LeBlanc said, "one for the watershed and one for the water treatment facility."
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