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Can a water filter combat blue-green algae?

Farron Bennet uses her Brita to filter her water in Skaneateles for a better piece of mind. (Brett Hall/CNY Central.)

A first of its kind algae bloom in Skaneateles Lake is prompting many to pay closer attention to the way they get their water.

The Onondaga County Department of Health and Syracuse Department of Water report a number of algal toxins detected in water collected from Skaneateles Lake does not surpass the threshold the EPA said would cause concern for at-risk populations. However, many families want a better peace of mind.

Farron Bennet lives in Skaneateles and uses her Brita filter on a daily basis, even though her home runs on well water.

"Just extra filtration just in case there is extra dirt in there," Farron Bennet said. "If I was drinking that lake water I would use this, definitely no question about it."

But do they actually work as filters for toxic blue-green algae?

"A very suitable and effective technology for treating the water yeah," said Charles Driscoll, an Environmental Engineer with Syracuse University. "A lot of these filters are involving activated carbon that's the active ingredient and that can remove the system."

Driscoll recommends making sure that your filter is changed regularly, and that you still heed warnings from the health department if they urge people not to drink water.


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