Algae in Northern Michigan bays does not produce toxins
The citizens of Toledo and more than a dozen surrounding communities were unable to drink or bathe in city water after a harmful toxin was discovered.
It is believed that sewage and fertilizer runoff triggered an algae bloom near an intake valve that sends water to those areas, causing the contamination.
According to experts in Northern Michigan, that's not a concern in this region.
They say algae in Northern Michiganâ??s bays are different from that of Lake Erieâ??s, and the impact from algae is not harmful.
Northwestern Michigan College Great Lakes Institute Director Hans Vansumeren said there is one type of algae that caused the problem in Lake Erie.
There are other types of algae in Northern Michigan bays, but they aren't the kind that produce toxins.
Vansumerem said the Northern bays do not have as shallow water or as much sheltered areas around the shoreline as Lake Erie. This keeps toxins from entering the Northern Michigan bays.
NMC directors say simple practices can help eliminate toxins, like using low phosphorus fertilizers and keeping fertilizer from frozen fields.
More than five Northern Michigan counties get their water supply from Lake Michigan.