Ensuring safe drinking water: Wilmington switches to backup source due to lake algae


News Journal



WILMINGTON – A number of Ohio lakes and reservoirs are experiencing potentially harmful algal blooms (HABs) this year.

Caesar Creek Lake, the primary source for the City of Wilmington drinking water, has also been experiencing a significant HAB event that began in early June, according to a news release from Brian Shidaker, Director of Public Service for the City of Wilmington.

The city is providing the following information about the harmful algal bloom at Caesar Creek Lake and how this phenomenon affects the drinking water of our residents.

The cyanobacteria that causes the HAB, also referred to as blue green algae, can produce toxins in the lake water.

“Wilmington Water Department’s treatment process is able to remove a certain amount of algal toxins, producing drinking water that exceeds all EPA water quality standards,” said Shidaker. “We also have the ability to switch to a backup water source – the Burtonville reservoirs. In mid-June, as a precautionary measure, we switched to our backup water source, which has not been experiencing the HAB event.

“Though we are not currently pulling water from Caesar Creek Lake, we continue to monitor water quality in the lake. We monitor lake algae and cyanobacteria populations, algal toxin levels, remote sensing imagery and water chemistry on a regular basis. The monitoring has shown that the cyanobacteria has persisted in the water.”

Wilmington Water also works with stakeholders to develop source water protection strategies that will help to combat the HABs. If you would like information on the City of Wilmington Source Water Protection Program, contact tluncan@wilmingtonoh.org or call 937-382-3614 to speak with the source water protection coordinator.

“The City of Wilmington Water Department is committed providing clean, safe drinking water to our families,” said Shidaker. Questions or comments regarding the water treatment program may be made to the Wilmington Water Plant at 937-382-3614.

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News Journal