Blue-Green Algae In Cape Fear River, No Immediate Concerns For ENC Rivers

There are water concerns in parts of the state, similar to what forced the shutdown of the water system in Toldeo, Ohio.

Potentially toxic blue-green algae like what was there has turned up along the Cape Fear River near the water intakes of both Brunswick and New Hanover counties.

While the outbreaks have been much less serious than the bloom in Ohio, we checked with a local riverkeeper to see if there is any cause for concern in our area.

Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Heather Deck says that she hasn't received any reports of serious algae blooms along the Tar or Pamlico Rivers up to this point.

She adds however that it is common after periods of heavy rainfall for an increased amount of nitrogen and phosphorus to get into the river system which can help spur the blooms.

She says algae blooms are common this time of year, but doesn't think there's any reason to expect any large scale outbreaks.

But with all the recent rainfall we've had she does think it's possible to see some smaller blooms in our area. Deck says, "With the amount of nutrients that came in and with the warm summer conditions, especially if the wind goes down, it wouldn't be a surprise that within the next week or two we see algae blooms and or fish kills pop up on the Pamlico River."

Deck says she doesn't believe towns like Greenville, Tarboro, and Rocky Mount that use the Tar River for drinking water have anything to worry about.


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