Great Lakes algae scare not a threat in Quincy

Though not entirely immune, Quincy is in a good location for avoiding water contamination from blue-green algae and its toxins

A two-day ban on using tap water was lifted in Toledo, Ohio on Monday after toxins contaminated the city's supply.

Officials believe the toxins came from blue-green algae in Lake Erie.

Much like Toledo, all of Quincy's water comes from a large, natural source in the form of the Mississippi River.

That might lead you to wonder how likely is it a similar contamination could happen in Quincy.

City Engineer Jeffrey Conte told KHQA the factors that led to contamination in Toledo are not currently being seen in Quincy.

While Conte said it's not impossible for something similar to happen, Quincy is in a 'good spot' because the Mississippi River is not conducive to the growth of blue-green algae.

Conte said the algae grows best in sources of standing water; the flow of the river helps prevent the growth.

Low river levels also contribute to the growth, but again, that's not the case near Quincy at this time.

Conte says the city is able to continuously check for a variety of contaminants, but he is hoping the city's treatment facility will see upgrades soon to better prevent a contamination.

"(Contamination) is a possibility and we are looking at improvements to deal with that better. Improving our chemical feed systems, adding additional layers of treatment to deal with that should that ever be an issue," he said.
"And those type of improvements we expect to be implementing within the next year."

Conte also said the city spends anywhere from $600,000 to $1 million per year on chemicals used to treat Quincy's water supply.

The city uses about 8 million gallons per day.