In the early part of August this year, at the height of the summer heat, over 500,000 residents of Ohio and Michigan were left without drinkable water. This is a terrible occurrence at any time of year—but in August, it’s that much less bearable.
The cause? Algae blooms in Lake Erie, which is the source of water for these 500,000+ residents. Officials noted that algae blooms were found in the water of an area water-treatment plant, and those blooms were causing toxic levels of microcysten. As a result, residents of affected areas were told to avoid drinking their tap water, and Ohio Governor John Kasich was forced to declare a state of emergency.
Ohio Senator Rob Portman acknowledged “a problem with toxic algae blooms”* in the lake, which had first been seen in early July, and reached toxic levels a month later. The cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are what make up these algae blooms, and the toxic versions of these bacteria can be harmful to humans, animals, and plants, causing an array of symptoms, from eye and ear irritation to vomiting, rashes, and high fevers.
Thankfully, no serious injuries occurred, and the area was able to return to normal soon enough. This is largely due to the fact that proper monitoring procedures and equipment were in place, essentially saving a significant number of people from drinking toxic water.
So what does this have to do with Connectronics, and interconnection systems? For one thing, our corporate office is located in Ohio, so we naturally feel for the residents of our state who were left without water. But more specifically, for 20 years we have been supplying Yellow Springs Instruments (YSI) with our equipment.
YSI is a renowned leader in developing water monitoring solutions, and they are based out of Yellow Springs, Ohio. Of the many services they provide, they monitor blue-green algae, which they point out “is important because they pose a serious threat to water quality, ecosystem stability, surface drinking water supplies, and public health…”
YSI provides the crucial services to monitor water and protect the country’s lakes, rivers, and oceans from threats such as algae blooms, and we provide YSI with the connectors to make this possible. We’re proud to be a part of this important circle, so critical to our country’s resources and residents.