Alliance: Algae 'bloom' affecting city's water

5:19 PM, Jun 21, 2012   |    comments
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The old saying goes "April showers bring May flowers" but our recent warm spell has brought another bloom.

It's algae and it's affecting one local city's water supply.

In this week's "Outdoors with Big Daddy," WKYC Photojournalist Carl Bachtel headed to Alliance to check out the bloom and what it's doing to the water.

We were at the Walborn Reservoir in Alliance.

But these 472 acres of water are not only used to recreate. It's also the water supply for the City of Alliance. The quality is fine, but there's always been an issue with algae, taste and odor, taste and odor caused by algal growth.

Blue-green algae is the culprit. The funky water usually shows up around Thanksgiving, but this year's warm weather triggered an early bloom.

Run-off from agriculture plays some role but it's Stark County's large number of septic tanks and towns without sewer systems that feed the beast.

The sewage from the town goes right down into the lake, and that may sound terrible, but the water treatment plant is able to clean that water up.

And it costs Alliance plenty -- $1 million a year just to battle the odor and taste issues.

Residents have no reason to fear the water coming out of their taps. The water is excellent quality, but certain times of the year, there are issues with taste and odor.

But there are no issues with having fun on the lake's waters.

But be sure and wash your hands when you're through.


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