Toxic algae a threat to Sweden’s water supply

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High levels of blue-green algae could pose a threat to Sweden’s drinking water supply. (iStock)
High levels of toxic blue-green algae, which has thrived in this summer’s extreme hot weather, is making it more difficult to secure clean drinking water.

Caroline Dirks, a chemist with the Swedish Food Administration, tells Radio Sweden that large amounts of cyanobacteria found in algae can be difficult to filter out from the water supply.

“There is a possibility that it can end up in the drinking supply because we produce a lot of our drinking water from surface water and if there is a severe algae bloom then there is a risk that it can enter the drinking water process,” she says.

Dirks recommends that drinking water producers carry out risk assessments and take measures to be prepared to face the algae threat.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Even with its massive water resources, Canada is not immune to dramatic droughts, Radio Canada International

Finland: Finnish researcher testing plants to purify lakes and seas, YLE News

Germany: Ocean acidification could doom key Arctic fish species: study, Radio Canada International

Norway: Plastic on Svalbard: “I could never believe it was this bad”, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia’s Arctic nuclear dump could become promising fishing area, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Swedish raft made from trash draws attention to plastic pollution, Radio Sweden

United States: Algae-related toxins found in Arctic sea mammals, Alaska Dispatch News

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