Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

The Mismanagement of Harmful Algal Blooms: Freshwater and Public Water Systems

Brady, Kailey Maria (2022) The Mismanagement of Harmful Algal Blooms: Freshwater and Public Water Systems. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

This is the latest version of this item.

Download (628kB) | Preview


Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) have increased in frequency the last few decades and are a threat to public health. Every state in America has experienced an algal bloom event (Harmful Algal Blooms, 2017). Although there haven’t been any human mortalities, there have been human morbidities when cyanobacteria toxins are encountered (Facts about Cyanobacterial 2021). Climate Change is predicted to enhance the duration and number of algal blooms (Recommendations 2015). The Great Lakes, in particular Lake Erie, are at risk to HABs. For example, due to an algal bloom in Toledo, Ohio in 2014, residents were ordered to not drink any of the treated municipal drinking water (Treuer et al, 2021). Furthermore, this water was shut off for three days, costing the community an estimated $65 million in losses (Steffen et al, 2017).
There is no standard treatment process in the United States for treating cyanotoxins in HABs (Treuer et al, 2021). The predicted impact of climate change expects HABs to occur in places that haven’t dealt with them before (Moore et al, 2008). This means water management systems will not have allocated adequate money or time to combat a HAB crisis. For instance, water management systems may not budget for HABs in their system since they didn’t have issues in the past. They also may not know the best treatment to utilize and because they need to quickly solve the problem, they may choose the wrong treatment inadvertently causing harm. Lysing cyanobacterial cells is a common practice but depending upon where the cyanobacteria produce the toxin, it could cause an increase in toxin instead of lowering it when the cells are lysed. HABs are an impending public health crisis that need to be taken seriously.
This essay, which is intended to inform the general public along with relevant regulators and stakeholders, will outline the reasons why HABs need to be at the forefront of environmental health policy and public health discussions. HABs are a concern because of their economic burden, their effects on human health, and the lack of a universal treatment process for removing the toxins from water sources.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Brady, Kailey Mariakmb302@pitt.edukmb3020000-0002-4873-0438
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis advisorPeterson, Jamesjimmyp@pitt.edujimmypUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberHaig, Sarahsjhaig@pitt.edusjhaigUNSPECIFIED
Date: 3 July 2022
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 23 June 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 43
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Environmental and Occupational Health
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Harmful Algal Blooms are affecting the Unites States more frequently and Water Management systems need to have a better handle on understanding them.
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2022 00:31
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2022 00:31

Available Versions of this Item

  • The Mismanagement of Harmful Algal Blooms: Freshwater and Public Water Systems. (deposited 04 Jul 2022 00:31) [Currently Displayed]


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item