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Harmful Algal Bloom Warning For Ohio River, Drinking Water Safe

Gregory Heath
Blue-green algae or cyanobacteria.

Local health departments are warning conditions are ripe for blue-green algae blooms on the Ohio River this weekend.

Blooms were spotted in Portsmouth earlier this week.

Greater Cincinnati Water Works is monitoring the river and has processes in place to treat any contamination before it enters the water supply.

Hamilton County Public Health says river activities are still safe but you should keep an eye out for anything that:

  • Looks like spilled paint
  • Has surface scums, mats or films
  • Is discolored or has colored streaks
  • Has green globs floating below the surface.

Swallowing affected water may increase the risk of stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Skin, eye and throat irritation and/or breathing difficulties may also occur after contact.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.