PHOTO: Lake Erie algal bloom from space
Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 5:58 PM -
Last Friday a toxic algal bloom caused panic in Toledo, Ohio when it contaminated the water supply, prompting officials to warn approximately 500,000 residents not to not drink, cook or bathe in it.
The blooms are the result of fertilizer runoff and warm weather which has spurred the growth of tiny green plants in Lake Erie.
Blue-green algae produces a toxin that cane lead to nausea and vomiting when ingested by humans and animals.
Toledo's water ban has since been lifted but officials are keeping a close eye on the situation in case the blooms begin to spread again.
Photo taken by Landsat 8 satellite on August 1, 2014. Courtesy: NASA
An image captured by NASA's Landsat 8 satellite on August 1, 2014 depicts the widespread area covered by the blooms.
Algal blooms have been a persistent problem in Canada as well.
In July, Alberta Health Services issued an advisory after blue-green algae was found on Pigeon and Coal Lakes for the fourth year in a row.