Owasco Lake’s blue-green algae visible from space; satellite helps with monitoring efforts

Cold weather has brought some relief as water tests for the city of Auburn and town of Owasco continue to return with no detectable levels of blue-green algae toxins. The public water supply, which serves approximately 45,000 Cayuga County residents, has not shown levels of microcystin, the toxin that can be produced by harmful algal blooms, since Oct. 10.

The Cayuga County Health Department has spent weeks testing both the raw and treated drinking water, sending samples to the state Department of Health’s laboratory in Albany. But while staff there were testing the water in the treatment plants, watershed groups were out on Owasco Lake itself, watching for the blooms.

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