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CEGE research contributes to Harmful Algal Bloom Initiative

For the past three years, more than 50 teams throughout the state have collaborated on research aimed at finding solutions to harmful algal blooms in Ohio. The Ohio Sea Grant just released its research findings for year three of the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative (HABRI).

HABRI research teams work under four mandates:

  • Track Algae Blooms From the Source
  • Produce Safe Drinking Water
  • Protect Public Health
  • Engage Stakeholders

Allison MacKay's Contaminant Fate Lab at Ohio State contributed to the project's Produce Safe Drinking Water initiative through its research, Kinetic models for oxidative degradation of cyanotoxins in raw drinking water. Professor and Chair, Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, Dr. MacKay and her team studied the effects of adding UV light and permanganate, a stong oxidizing agent, into traditional, chorine-based water decontamination practices.

The group's findings were encouraging as their experiments showed that UV light, when used in conjunction with chlorine based treatment, was effective in reducing toxins in drinking water. Furthermore, using UV light during treatment can also lessen the amount of time needed to complete the entire treatment process.

Professor MacKay's group collaborated with colleagues at the University of Cincinnati as well as local water utilities in Claremont County, Cincinnati, Oregon, Port Clinton and Toledo to conduct this research. In the future, these methods may be used in the treatment and decontamination process at other public water treatment plants.

Read the HABRI Year 3 Project Update