February 7, 2015--AWWA To Congress: Controlling Nntrient pollution key to preventing cyanotoxins in drinking water (Water Online)

In testimony recently before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, American Water Works Association Water Utility Council Chair Aurel Arndt stressed that the solution to keeping drinking water safe from cyanotoxins begins with better managing nutrient pollution. The subcommittee hearings are in response to an event in August 2014 when the City of Toledo, Ohio, found the cyanotoxin microcystin in finished water and issued a “do not drink” advisory for more than 400,000 people. The contamination was the result of an algal bloom in Lake Erie. “We recommend that Congress consider ways to greatly increase the effectiveness of nonpoint source pollution programs, including the question of whether nonpoint sources of pollution should be brought under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act,” said Arndt, who is also CEO of Lehigh County Authority in Allentown, Pa. Speaking on behalf of AWWA’s 50,000 water professionals, Arndt noted that cyanotoxin contamination is always associated with excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in water. According the U.S. Geological Survey, nonpoint sources – predominantly runoff and air deposition – account for 90 percent of the nitrogen and 75 percent of the phosphorus in U.S. waterways. To view the full article visit Water Online.