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Independent testing confirms safety of drinking water from Lake Manatee

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MANATEE COUNTY – Manatee County Utilities is actively addressing an algal bloom issue affecting Lake Manatee. The County would like to assure the public that the compound responsible for the taste and odor is identified as geosmin, and it is not an algal toxin. While certain blue-green algae can produce toxins, it is important to note that not all blue-green algae blooms are toxic. Rigorous independent testing by GreenWater Laboratories has been conducted during this bloom for a variety of cyanotoxins, and none have been detected in the drinking water.

The current algal bloom is primarily attributed to prolonged hot and dry weather conditions. As a result, the water treatment process includes the use of powdered activated carbon to mitigate the geosmin levels. Despite these efforts, the finished water may still retain elevated levels of geosmin, which can lead to an earthy/musty taste or odor for most of our residents. It is crucial to emphasize that the water remains completely safe for consumption.

For more information about Manatee County Government, visit or call (941) 748-4501. Follow Manatee County on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ManateeGov.