Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins

Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins

There is a lot of concern over Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins. AWA has no reason to believe that the Ione Reservoir is under a “Harmful Algal Bloom”. We are at an elevation where cyanotoxin blooms have not occurred.

Cyanobacteria are small microbes that live in nearly every habitat on land and in the water. Cyanobacteria and some algae can multiply rapidly in water due to favorable conditions, such as higher temperatures, slow moving water, excessive nutrients or organic matter, where they form blooms know as harmful algal blooms (HABs) Some of these HABs are toxic and others are not. Both emit an unpleasant taste and odor.

In our on-going efforts to provide safe, reliable, drinking water AWA has 3 Distribution operators continuously flushing hydrants in neighborhoods. Treatment operators have increased the dose of sodium permanganate to control the odor and we are looking at the availability of adding more granulated activated carbon to the filters to aide in removing even more organics. We are actively seeking additional methods to provide a more aesthetically pleasing drinking water. Agency personnel not only work in Ione, they live there as well.

Ione resident Marty Cassel called Customer Service this morning to ask about the Taste and Odor problems. Operation’s Manager, Damon Wyckoff, gave Marty a tour of the Ione Reservoir and Treatment plant. Here are a few pictures of the Ione Reservoir as of this morning approximately 9am. No taste or odor coming from the reservoir. It was beautiful out there. The last picture is a sample of what a harmful algal bloom looks like. It is not a picture of the Ione Reservoir.

We take your concerns seriously here at AWA. With all the worry over Cyanotoxins, AWA consulted with our regulator at Division of Drinking Water to discuss the matter further. After speaking with an algal specialist we decided to take 3 samples for a complete series of Cyantoxins to an independent lab in Sacramento. We took samples from the raw water coming into the Ione plant, the finish water leaving the plant and finally a sample out in the distribution system. The results are in! All samples were ND (Non-Detect) for the complete series on Cyanotoxins. A picture of the sample results is shown below.

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