Category: Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

Learn About HABs

What are harmful algal blooms (HABs)? Harmful algal blooms occur when normally occurring cyanobacteria in the water multiply quickly to form visible colonies or blooms. These blooms sometimes produce potent cyanotoxins that pose serious health risks to humans and animals. Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, aren’t actually algae, they are prokaryotes, single-celled aquatic organisms that are closely related to bacteria …

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Harmful Algal Blooms Home

Due to state budget uncertainty, the Division of Water Quality cannot monitor, sample, or provide updates for harmful algal blooms on Utah waterbodies until at least July 1, 2020. Protect Your Dog Harmful algal blooms (HABs) develop when naturally occurring cyanobacteria in the water multiply very quickly to form green or blue-green water, scum, or …

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Rules and Regulations: Drinking Water HABs Response Plan

What is a Health Advisory? The Safe Drinking Water Act provides the authority for EPA to publish health advisories for contaminants not subject to any national primary drinking water regulation. HALs describe non-regulatory concentrations of drinking water contaminants at or below which adverse health effects are not anticipated to occur over specific exposure durations (e.g., …

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Suggested Sampling Procedure and Analytical Methods

Cyanotoxin Sampling Sampling Details Handling – follow collection and handling procedures established by method or laboratory Lab Analysis – use lab-provided sample containers Containers – typically amber glass Quenching – quench (usually with sodium thiosulfate) immediately upon sampling if exposed to oxidants Cooling – cool on ice (4° C) immediately after collection, during shipping, and …

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Response Assistance

It is the primary responsibility of the affected Public Water System to prepare and manage potential HAB events. However, there are two principal State agencies; the Division of Drinking Water, the Division of Water Quality, and several subsidiary agencies that can assist in the response to algal blooms and cyanotoxins as described below. A. Division …

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Raw and Finished Water Monitoring for Cyanotoxins

Raw Water Quality and Treatment Plant Performance Changes Public Water Systems vulnerable to cyanotoxins should also monitor raw water quality and treatment plant performance for changes that may indicate the presence of cyanobacteria or cyanotoxins. Changes are listed below: Increased taste and odor Increased SUVA Increased pH Increased turbidity Decreased filter run time Increased coagulant …

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Developing a Cyanotoxin Management Plan

Steps and topics for inclusion in the Cyanotoxin Management Plan (CMP) are summarized below. In-depth guidance is located on the pages in the left-hand menu. If a surface water source is found to be vulnerable, a system-specific CMP should be prepared to guide operators on how to effectively monitor and treat source water, raw water, …

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Laboratories and Treatment Options: Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxin Analysis

There are several options available for cyanobacteria and cyanotoxin analysis. As the needs of each utility are unique, so will your analysis methods be. In-house algae identification Algae Lab – Trained phycologist can identify algae to the species level and provide numerical count of predominant algae. Toxin analysis -Analysis can be performed in-house or sent …

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Response to Detection of Cyanotoxins in Raw and Finished Drinking Water

A. Recommended Public Notification Public notification may be required if cyanotoxins are detected in raw or finished drinking water. A Public Water System should consider providing public notification (i.e., a water use advisory) under the following circumstances: If cyanotoxins are detected only in raw water, public notification is not recommended by U.S. EPA. Raw water …

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Source Water Observation and Monitoring

Vulnerable Public Water Systems should begin either source water observation for algal blooms or monitoring for bloom indicators at the start of each bloom season and continue throughout the bloom season. The source observation and monitoring could potentially continue throughout the year if local climate or bloom history indicates the possibility of blooms year round. …

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Assessing Vulnerability

Public Water Systems using a surface water source could be impacted by HABs. These systems should assess the vulnerability of each surface water source, even if blooms have not yet been confirmed. The Division of Drinking Water is available to help with the assessment as needed. Appendix A has two tables; A1 and A2, that …

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Utah Surface Water Systems Vulnerable to HABs

County PWS No. PWS Name Source ID 1° Source 2° Source HAB Vulnerability Carbon 04007 Price Municipal WS004 Price River Scofield Reservoir Vulnerable Carbon 04020 Price River WID WS001 Price River Scofield Reservoir Vulnerable Daggett 05001 Dutch John Town WS001 Flaming Gorge Reservoir Vulnerable Duchesne 07050 Central Utah WCD – Duchesne Valley WS001 Starvation Reservoir …

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DEQ Budget Priorities 2018: Putting Our Values into Action

By Scott Baird The 2018 Utah Legislature kicks off its 45-day session today, marking the start of an exciting and occasionally hectic time for all of us at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Although we are neutral players in the legislative process, our directors and scientists are available 24/7 to answer questions, provide …

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Planning, Preparation Help DEQ Keep Tabs on HABs

By Suzan Tahir Some of you might have heard about harmful algal blooms (HABs), and some of you might not…yet. But HABs are happening nationwide, mostly in the warm summer months. As you know, we have trillions of bacteria (good bacteria and bad bacteria) living in our gut (gastrointestinal tract), and they coexist until something …

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