Microcystins-occurrence and Laboratory Analysis

Description:In August 2014, the Collins Park Water Treatment plant in Toledo, Ohio shut down for two days because microcystin-LR, a cyanotoxin, was detected at elevated levels in their treated water. The Ohio EPA ordered temporary tap water ban which was lifted after three days. Lake Erie is the source water of the treatment plant and during that time there was a blue green algae bloom. Microcystins are toxins produced by cyanobacteria also known as blue-green algae. When conditions are favorable for growth in surface waters (warm, stable conditions are required), large populations can occur. The cyanobacteria may release toxins upon cell death or lysis. When released, these toxins can persist for weeks to months. Microcystins present a health risk to animals and humans. The World Health Organization's (WHO) provisional drinking water guideline is 1.0 ug/L for Microcystin-LR. In Canada, the maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) is 1.5 ug/L. Currently, there is no guideline for microcystins in USA, however, cyanotoxins are included in Contaminant Candidate List 2 (CCL2). There are two analytical methods that are widely used to analyse microcystins. These are Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometer (LC-MS/MS). I will discuss the ELISA method of analysis as it is more affordable to water treatment plant laboratories and can be used to screen microcystins in both raw and treated drinking water.

Authors: Rudy Plaza-Pante

Subjects:

Tags:2015 BCWWA Annual Conference & Trade Show,AC15,AC15 presentations

Citation:Stream 2: Ensuring Water Quality & Supply

Publication Date:May 29th, 2015 Upload Date:Jul 6th, 2015

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