Water Quality and Cyanobacteria

The News on water quality has been focused on the cyanobacteria in the waters draining from Lake Okeechobee. The bacteria is a natural occurrence and happens when ever the conditions are right; conditions like warm temperatures, stagnant water, high water input. all of these conditions have lead up to this massive algal bloom. But! it is not the algae thats the real problem it is the conditions that this cyanobacteria creates. When this cyanobacteria is able to bloom it actually robs the water of oxygen!

It sounds counter intuitive algae creates oxygen, This is true but it also uses oxygen especially in the evening when there is no sunlight present to start photosynthesis so the algae will take oxygen in from the surrounding water. The oxygen that is being consumed is what is known as dissolved oxygen. This oxygen is produced by green plants and is reintroduced into the water by wind and wave action. This is also the same type of oxygen that fish, and plants consume to carry out cellular respiration. that is to say what they need to breath so that they can live and reproduce. Without this dissolved oxygen most organism can not survive, But! there are organisms that can survive biologists call these organisms anaerobic organisms. That means they love an oxygen free environment. It is these organisms that we must be aware of since these are the ones that we associate with illness (also known as pathogens).

As of the writing of this little blog there is a massive amount of anaerobic bacteria associated with latest round of algae blooms. One of these bacteriums' is a spirochete that when ingested will cause gastrointestinal distress, cramps, and Dysentery (Diarrhea). Other anaerobic bacteria that is found under these conditions are known as Necrotizing Fasciitis, more commonly known as flesh eating bacteria.

Remember it is these other organisms that are deadly and the best thing to do is to avoid them at all costs. You do not need to ingest these organisms they can find entry by way of your eyes , ears, or any opening that enters into the body including cuts, and abrasions.


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