Microcystin in out drinking water

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Microcystin in out drinking water

Postby DrewInToledo » Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:17 pm

Well im sure youve heard that the water that Toledo supplies is tainted by a toxin produced by algae. Were not to drink the water until further notice. The weather is in control of how long the algae bloom is concentrated since storms and wind can break it up and disperse the bloom.
Its disappointing to see how people only think of themselves and hoard bottled water. Some were buying 20+ cases filling every space in thier cars, even the floors leaving others with none. Shelves were empty but they're slowly getting restocked.
Otoh, many with well water around the area have offered free water. I have a 3000+ gallon cistern in my yard that has been regularly treated with chlorine. Most call it a pool. ;) its filtered daily and i plan to boil some today to do dishes. I also have a couple of rain barrells and relatives in other counties with alternative water intake infrastructure systems so i havent been too worried.
I thought Manny may find this interesting and may have predicted this predicament prior to this situation. Some local photos of lake erie are disturbing although some might enjoy it on st pattys day. Completely green.
I am happy to say that i don't fertilize my lawn at all. Most people around here do, though. Im a big believer that the nutrients just run off into the lake via river tributaries and feed the problem.
Does anyone know if distilling water would remove microsystin? This might give me motivation to build a still. Apparantly its a tiny toxin composed of a few amino acids harmful to the liver and escapes filtration systems. Perhaps a coagulant of some type would remove the bugger.
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Re: Microcystin in out drinking water

Postby mannytheseacow » Sun Aug 03, 2014 1:09 pm

Wow, Drew. That is interesting. I hadn't heard about that. I regularly test one of our local recreational reservoirs for microcystins throughout the summer, but we've only had one positive in the last three years. That was during the 2012 drought and luckily it dropped back to safe levels in about three days.

I typically hear about microcystins from a recreational standpoint. You don't want to be swimming in the stuff or eating fish from that water during a bloom. I'm not sure about how the drinking water is effected. It's kind of scary that they are not treating the water to a high enough extent to begin with if microcystins are an issue. I mean, what else might be passing along in your drinking water then? There are all kinds of micro-toxins out there. Unless maybe the degree of this bloom is bogging down their filtration system so the ban is just sort of a conservation measure?

At any rate, I honestly couldn't tell you if distilling would remove them or not. I wouldn't play with it unless you had a way of testing the results to be sure that the microcystin content was low enough before drinking. Not that I'm saying you shouldn't pursue making a still for, ahem, "making safe water". ;)

Do you have a water filter? I wouldn't hesitate to stick my Katadyn micro filter straight into the lake and filter away. I've traveled all over the world with that thing and haven't gotten sick yet, though I'll bet the flora in my intestines has a pretty high level of biodiversity at this point. I could probably digest rocks.

I wonder if people are rushing out to Walmart to buy all the water filters? That is pretty sad that they are hoarding all the water. I think it's crazy that people buy water in a bottle to begin with but then hoarding it so others can't have it is pretty low. On my own selfish reasoning, I was actually due to place another order for the microcystin testing materials this week and I'll bet that it's either out of stock now or the prices have gone up; or both. Bah!
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Re: Microcystin in out drinking water

Postby matt walker » Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:01 pm

I read about it last night and thought of you immediately Drew. I'm glad to hear you are doing okay considering. Yesterday I received a complete RO system I had ordered last week as the last step in redoing my whole water supply, which I've been working on for a few weeks now. Those units are so affordable now, I couldn't believe it. So, the toxin is too small even for RO? Wow. I imagine distilling would handle it, but that's only a guess so don't trust me on that one. I have built a "safe water" still using just a pot and a copper coil, I'm betting you have most of what you need to produce drinking water to hand already. Stay safe man, no water and a large population is serious stuff.
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Re: Microcystin in out drinking water

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:08 am

I have been seeing the problem on the News. I also thought about you, I am glad that you are fairing well. It does not surprise me that people are buying up all the bottled water. Unfortunately many people revert to their lowest level in times like these. Hooray for me, and the Hell with you seems to be their basic thought process. This is the type of problems that the Preppers worry about and try to prepare for in advance. The bloom is unbelievable, the water is totally green, and they do feel that fertilizers from Big Ag, peoples yards, and sewage treatment plants all add to the problem. Lake Erie was almost dead some years ago and the major efforts made to clean it up were working well I thought. Because it is the sallowest of the Great Lakes it can clean itself quickly by flushing the water out and bringing in new water. Getting people to believe that their actions are causing the problem and getting them to change will be the most difficult problem. Water is basic to life, people will get crazy if the problem is not resolved quickly. Your Mayor has already said that he will not lift the ban until he get reports back from a federal lab that the water is safe. I do not blame him for taking that stand. He is making sensible decisions about peoples health and well fair under the circumstances. I have seen a solar water still made with a used sliding glass doors that they use in Mexico to distill drinking water. There is a water tight wooden frame the glass is set at a slight angle and the condensation collects on the inside of the glass and then runs down the inside of the glass to a metal trough at the bottom where it is collected and then runs out into a jug. Their water has a lot of salt and minerals in it, I do not know how it would work for bacteria. The unit produces a small amount of water for drinking .A gal or 2 for each 4' X 8' sheet of glass.
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Re: Microcystin in out drinking water

Postby DrewInToledo » Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:55 pm

Thanks for all of your concerns, guys.

Everything that I've seen is that the toxin is less than a half micron small. I'm not sure what an RO system can filter as I've never researched. If I build any type of condenser, I'd install some sort of UV in fear ot Legionnaires' Disease. I have a 200+ water storage tank that's been sitting in my back yard as well... maybe it's time to get it filled.

Our lake water intake system supplys water to about 1/2 million citizens, and it is very outdated. Our tax dollars are misguided. For example, the city tore down and rebuilt most of the schools in the city. It is criticized that many of the schools were just fine and didn't need to be torn down. The high school I went to was built in 1962.

The problem is that all the algae has moved to the west end of lake Erie and it's staying there.

Here's a photo of the lakeshore. This is a real photo:

Image
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Re: Microcystin in out drinking water

Postby matt walker » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:46 pm

Whoah. Don't drink that.
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Re: Microcystin in out drinking water

Postby Lollykoko » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:12 pm

That lake water looks like super thin split pea soup! No wonder they don't want folks drinking/bathing in the stuff. Ewww!
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