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Toxins 2018, 10(11), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10110430

Cyanotoxins and Cyanobacteria Cell Accumulations in Drinking Water Treatment Plants with a Low Risk of Bloom Formation at the Source

1
Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto, 35 St George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1A4, Canada
2
Civil, Mineral and Mining Engineering Department, Polytechnique Montréal, P.O. Box 6079, Station Centre-ville, Montreal, QC H3C 3A7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 October 2018 / Revised: 18 October 2018 / Accepted: 23 October 2018 / Published: 26 October 2018
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Abstract

Toxic cyanobacteria have been shown to accumulate in drinking water treatment plants that are susceptible to algal blooms. However, the risk for plants that do not experience algal blooms, but that receive a low influx of cells, is not well known. This study determined the extent of cell accumulation and presence of cyanotoxins across the treatment trains of four plants in the Great Lakes region. Samples were collected for microscopic enumeration and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) measurements for microcystins, anatoxin-a, saxitoxin, cylindrospermopsin, and β-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). Low cell influxes (under 1000 cells/mL) resulted in significant cell accumulations (over 1 × 105 cells/mL) in clarifier sludge and filter backwash samples. Microcystins peaked at 7.2 µg/L in one clarifier sludge sample, exceeding the raw water concentration by a factor of 12. Anatoxin-a was detected in the finished drinking water of one plant at 0.6 µg/L. BMAA may have been detected in three finished water samples, though inconsistencies among the BMAA ELISAs call these results into question. In summary, the results show that plants receiving a low influx of cells can be at risk of toxic cyanobacterial accumulation, and therefore, the absence of a bloom at the source does not indicate the absence of risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: microcystin-LR; anatoxin-a; cyanotoxin; cyanobacteria; harmful algal bloom; accumulation; drinking water treatment microcystin-LR; anatoxin-a; cyanotoxin; cyanobacteria; harmful algal bloom; accumulation; drinking water treatment
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Almuhtaram, H.; Cui, Y.; Zamyadi, A.; Hofmann, R. Cyanotoxins and Cyanobacteria Cell Accumulations in Drinking Water Treatment Plants with a Low Risk of Bloom Formation at the Source. Toxins 2018, 10, 430.

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