(Editor’s Note: The Iowa Environmental Council monitors harmful algae blooms throughout the state. Here’s a link to their July 20 report).
Weekly Water Watch is really about this: taking a minute to 1) see Iowa’s lakes as resource, 2) understand threats to lake water quality, and 3) really ask ourselves — how much is clean water worth?
Quick recap: When fertilizer is sprayed onto Iowa farm fields, those chemicals/nutrients go somewhere. Onto the crops to help them grow, yes. But all too often, those nutrients are carried away from farm fields via runoff or underground tile drainage lines into Iowa’s waters. To our rivers. To our lakes. When those nutrients enter warm water and combine with sunlight, they cause things to grow. Things like harmful algae blooms (HABs).
It’s not just a bummer when gross blue-green algae is floating in our lakes.
Sometimes, it’s a serious public health concern.
Why? Because harmful algae blooms can release toxins in the water (like microcystin) that can poison people + pets + livestock.
To read the entire Iowa Environmental Council Weekly Water Watch, including links to drinking water and beach monitoring sites, click here.
Check out The Iowa Environmental Council here.
The Iowa Environmental Council does a real public service by providing factual information about Iowa water quality. Iowans who prefer cheerful propaganda can find plenty on the Iowa Farm Bureau website.