Anticipating needs that may arise as utilities are faced with
more questions around this issue, the Water Research Foundation
published project #4315, Optimizing Conventional Treatment for
Removal of Cyanobacteria and Toxins (Newcombe et al. 2015). This
project studied the application of conventional treatment processes, in particular coagulation, clarification, and filtration. Both
the removal of cyanobacteria and the achievement of other water
quality goals were investigated. Microcystis aeruginosa, Anabaena
circinalis, and Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii were investigated in
detail, and limited experiments were undertaken with Oscillatoria
sp., M. flos aquae, and Pseudanabaena sp.
This Health Advisory is of concern for utilities using surface
water, as it could result in “Do Not Drink/Do Not Boil” orders and
associated financial costs and risk communication issues. In addition, the EPA was instructed by Congress to develop a strategic
plan to assess and manage the risks associated with algal toxins
in drinking water. Bill #H.R. 212, To amend the Safe Drinking Water
Act to provide for the assessment and management of the risk of
algal toxins in drinking water, and for other purposes, was signed
into law on August 7, 2015. The EPA released its strategic plan on
November 9, 2015.
Utility Management and
Treatment Strategies to
The incidence of cyanobacterial blooms continues to increase, aided by changing climate, continued urbanization, and increased nutrient load- ing in source waters. In the summer of 2015, the EPA issueda Health Advisory for two types of cyanotoxins—microcystins and cylindrospermopsin.