Blue-green algae toxins found in West Palm Beach drinking water
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Blue-green algae toxins were detected in the drinking water from the City of West Palm Beach’s Water Treatment Plant.
City officials said they issued a driving water advisory after they found Cylindrospermopsin, a toxin produced by cyanobacteria which is also known as blue-green algae. Elevated levels of the toxins were detected in the raw water samples collected from the East Lobe of Clear Lake and the finished water at the treatment plant that supplies water to the City of West Palm Beach, Town of Palm Beach, and Town of South Palm Beach.
The city has activated its emergency wells to introduce ground water into the surface water supply, according to officials. Powder activated carbon has also been added into the treatment system at the water treatment plant.
City officials have also increased free chlorine levels within the final stages of the treatment process and they will initiate a switch to a stronger disinfectant on Saturday. The stronger disinfectant is identified by the US Environmental Protection Agency to reduce levels of the toxin.
Infants, young children under six, pregnant women and nursing mothers, those with pre-existing liver conditions, those receiving dialysis treatment, the elderly, and other sensitive populations are being told not to drink the tap water.
Animals are also vulnerable to health effects, according to city officials. Residents are being told not to boil the tap water because it may increase the toxin levels.
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