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Utility’s new FlowCam detects toxic algae

Friday, October 22, 2021 by Tai Moses

New equipment will allow Austin Water to conduct in-house testing of water samples for cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins, or as it’s more commonly known, blue-green algae, which has plagued some of the city’s waterways and killed several dogs who came into contact with the water. Previously the testing was outsourced, with a wait of several weeks for results. With the utility’s new FlowCam, the results can be achieved within 24 hours. The purchase of the new equipment is the result of “growing concerns about harmful algal mats in Lake Travis and Lady Bird Lake,” according to the news release. As Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros explained, “We have a team focused on preparing for a cyanotoxin event, who have been implementing strategic plans for more than a year to be ready if the worst were to happen. We take this threat very seriously, and I’m proud of the vigilance and proactive measures our laboratory analysts and treatment team have put in place to detect and treat for cyanotoxins.”





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