Algae bloom

The Cyanotoxins Resource Community is intended to keep the water industry informed about current resources, tools, issues and developments related to cyanotoxins and harmful algal blooms. 

If you have any questions or updates to share, please submit them to AWWA.

AWWA Cyanotoxin Resources

See the new CyanoTOX® Version 2.0. This updated tool builds on the success of its predecessor in helping utilities calculate their system's oxidation options for cyanotoxins, while adding new features including:

  • pH range has been expanded to 6-10
  • 95%-confidence intervals added for reactions where natural microcystin mixtures may have different rates
  • Microcystin kinetics (based on MC-LR) now have suggested relative rates for some other variants
  • Increased validation of the model's kinetics, to be published in peer-reviewed articles.

AWWA Cyanotoxin TESTING & TREATMENT Resources

US Environmental Protection Agency

    The EPA in November 2016 launched a suite of three new cyanotoxins management resources aimed at assisting water utilities in planning for, responding to and communicating about cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins events.

    The tools include:

    • Cyanotoxin Management Plan Template and Example Plans, which details the development and content of management plans for five utilities and provides a suggested template for others interested in developing a cyanotoxins management plan.
    • Water Treatment Optimization for Cyanotoxins, which discusses treatment considerations for removing cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins, designed to reduce cyanotoxins concentrations while simultaneously addressing other treatment priorities.
    • Drinking Water Cyanotoxin Risk Communication Toolbox, which contains example materials for cyanotoxins events such as drinking water advisories, press releases, and social media messages.

    The agency earlier issued health advisories for two cyanotoxins: microcystins and cylindrospermopsin. These non-regulatory levels are levels below which there are expected to be no health impacts. As part of an updated risk assessment process, EPA has issued two different advisory levels based upon a person's age - one level for children under six years old, and a second level for children six and above and adults. 

    The health advisory levels, which are based upon 10 days of exposure, are:

  • 0.3µg/L for microcystin and 0.7µg/L for cylindrospermopsin for children less than six years old
  • 1.6 µg/L for microcystin and 3.0 µg/L for cylindrospermopsin for children six and up and adults
  • Supporting these numbers, EPA has issued two separate documents. The first are the health advisories themselves, which explain the basis upon which EPA developed the levels. The second is a support document detailing EPA's recommendation to utilities in managing cyanotoxins.

Cyanotoxins Essentials

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