Cyanobacteria are photosynthesizing bacteria that may produce cyanotoxins that can cause illness to exposed human and animal populations. A bloom is a visually identified concentration of cyanobacteria that discolors the water. Cyanobacterial cells may be found at the water surface, at a defined depth, or present throughout the water column.
In Summer 2017, DWGWPD collaborated again with the Vermont Department of Health (VDH), to offer at no cost cyanotoxin analysis of raw and finished water at the VDH laboratory for the 22 Lake Champlain-sourced water systems for 12 weeks (July through September).
Cyanobacteria Importance to Drinking Water Facilities
Cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) are common native organisms in lakes, ponds and rivers around the world. In Vermont, they can be found in any water body, river or stream. Some species of cyanobacteria produce toxins and these toxins have been documented in some Vermont lakes. Cyanobacteria are not always toxic and it is not possible to tell by looking if toxins are present. For this reason, the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont DEC recommend that everyone avoid contact with cyanobacteria.