Algae Blooms Raise Concerns in Lake Winnebago

Algae Blooms Raise Concerns in Lake Winnebago

Officials are keeping a close eye on the lake, which provides hundreds of thousands of people with drinking water.


Along the shores of Lake Winnebago, a murky green has taken over, keeping boaters like Kendelle Grube out of the water.


                      "It was really green and the water would like seperate from the algae," She said. "It was really gross, so we didn't go swimming or anything."


The algae is an annual arrival here, caused by nutrient runoff from streets and farms. and it's keeping the Appleton Water Treatment Plant busy.


                     "It's somewhat unique in it's a very shallow lake," says Utility Director Chris Shaw. "It becomes very turbid, or somewhat dirty, and we knew of the nutrient levels to begin with. So that was all in mind when designing and engineering this facility."


 Shaw says the algae is much thicker close to shore, so they avoid the area when treating drinking water.


                      "Fortunately our intake, or where we take the water, isn't close to shore. so what you might see at the shore is not indicative of what's happening out in the middle of the lake.

He says they use different chemicals throughout the year to clean water.

                     "When our analytical data supports increased organics, things like algae, we treat accordingly, so our chemical dosages, our physical processes change with the seasons."


But some say the thought of purifying and drinking this - remains unpleasant.


                      "The ick factor, health concern, it was just nasty," says Grube.



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