And don't give it to your pets.
Local news is reporting that a Harmful Algae Bloom has contaminated the water in Lake Erie. This algae has released certain chemicals including Microcystin, a deadly cyanotoxin too small to be filtered using normal water treatment techniques.
DO NOT BOIL WATER. BOILING WATER WILL ONLY INCREASE THE CONCENTRATION OF MICROCYSTIN IN YOUR WATER, as the toxin is completely unaffected by heat, and as the water will boil away, the toxin will remain. DO NOT COOK with this water, it will only make the water more toxic.
The toxin attacks the liver, causing vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and numbness. Skin contact with contaminated water can cause a rash.
In some people, it can create a sensation similar to being drunk.
The good news:
Current detected levels of the toxin are so low that the local government is saying that healthy adults can wash their hands, and shower, but children should be supervised to guarantee that they do not consume any of the water.
Personally, I would not be showering today if I lived in the area, just to be on the safe side.
Toilets are fine to use.
Why is this happening?
The Algae Bloom was likely caused by industrial or agricultural runoff. Nitrates, such as fertilizer, can create a fertile soup that causes algae blooms. Global warming and the resulting higher temperature has been proven to increase the reproductive rate of cyanotoxin producing algae.
List of Affected AreasNews Reports:
ALL of Lucas County
Village of Metamora
Eastern Swan Creek Township
Village of Whitehouse
La Salle Township
South County Water Customers - Michigan