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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Jun 01

Waterworks Participates in Algae Research Study

Posted on June 1, 2017 at 8:44 AM by Communications Department

A Water Research Foundation Project Collaboration

The Newport News Waterworks Department regularly participates in Water Research Foundation (WRF) research projects for the benefit of its customers and the water industry at large.Algae_SC The Water Research Foundation (WRF) which is an internationally recognized leader in water research dedicated to advancing the science of water by sponsoring cutting-edge research and promoting collaboration.

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, naturally occur within marine and fresh water ecosystems. Some cyanobacteria are capable of producing toxins, called cyanotoxins, which can pose a risk to human health. One recent project has been to evaluate the risk of cyanotoxins in surface water reservoirs and to develop educational and public service messages for utilities if they need to communicate the risks associated with cyanotoxins in drinking water supplies. An algae bloom is a rapid and excessive growth of cyanobacteria and/or other algae. It is not possible to determine solely upon visual observation if a bloom is producing toxins.

Waterworks monitors for algae and indicator parameters in its reservoirs and follows U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommended protocols for treating the blooms, as needed. In addition to monitoring, weekly samples are taken and analyzed in a laboratory for cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins. Based on the field and lab results, Waterworks acts swiftly to prevent growth and/or contain blooms using targeted treatments in the reservoirs.

Waterworks has developed a testing and communication program in accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Health Advisory and plans to continue participating in the research initiative.

Newport News Waterworks provides drinking water to more than 400,000 people in Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, York County and part of James City County. Stay up to date with Waterworks information and events by visiting their Facebook page.