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Algal Blooms Wreak Havoc on Melbourne, FL Water Quality

You use tap water for drinking, bathing, brushing your teeth and cooking your meals. What do you do if it suddenly smells horribly? What if the water coming out of your kitchen sink is green?

Residents of Melbourne, Florida are dealing with this unwelcome reality due to blue-green algal blooms spreading rapidly across Lake Washington. A couple of weeks ago, green streaks of algal slime could easily be seen along the banks of the lake. Residents became overwhelmed with the strong smell of chlorine that was added to their drinking water to address the problem.

What’s Happening in Melbourne?

Lake Washington serves as the primary drinking water source for more than 170,000 residents in and around Melbourne. Residents became alarmed when the lake turned a neon hue of green as an algal bloom took hold of the lake. City officials have insisted that the drinking water is safe to drink, and that any toxins from the algae would be safely removed from drinking water before it reached the taps of customers.

However, with increasing reports of water contamination across the country as the nation’s water infrastructure continues to deteriorate, many families do not take the assurances of officials at face value. In addition, the poor water quality and strong chlorine smell are upsetting residents who aren’t even concerned about possible contaminants.

Are Algal Blooms Dangerous?

All algae are potentially toxic. Blue-green algal blooms produce neurotoxins that can cause muscle tremors, staggering, breathing problems and even paralysis in extreme cases. Algal blooms can also produce hepatotoxins that affect your liver. The effects of hepatotoxins aren’t felt for a few days, and this delay means you can ingest a high volume of the toxins before you know about the problem.

Toxic bacteria generated from algal blooms have caused major health concerns in the area previously. It has been illegal to harvest puffer fish from the nearby Indian River Lagoon since 2002, after several people nearly died after eating fish infected with cyanobacteria. A year later at least 28 people fell ill after eating puffer fish from the waters near Titusville, leading to an overall ban.

Keep Your Water Clean, Pure and Free of Contaminants

If you live in Melbourne or in any other region affected by algal blooms there are multiple steps you can take to drink refreshing, safe water that doesn’t smell as strongly of chlorine. For a water filtration solution that will drastically lower the amount of chlorine in your water, we recommend a carbon-based Whole House Water Filter System. The best-selling water filter system reduces chlorine at a rate of 97%, making your water taste great while eliminating the common problems of itchy, red skin and dull hair that occur when showering in chlorinated water.

Melbourne authorities insist that the water is safe to drink, but with so many unknown factors it’s better to take the proper precautions for your family’s health. When algal blooms affect the water quality for an entire area, homeowners should take the additional step of installing a 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis System for their kitchen sink and replacing the sediment filter with a carbon block while city officials over-chlorinate the water supply to eliminate algae. The reverse osmosis system likely won’t completely cover the algae odor, but you can rest easy knowing you are protected from contaminants by comprehensive filtration technology.