UPDATED: Algae bloom closes Norwalk's upper reservoir

Most importantly, pets should not be allowed to drink from Upper Reservoir.
Sandusky Register Staff
Aug 19, 2014


UPDATE 8:04 a.m. Tuesday

According to Norwalk public works director Josh Snyder, The upper reservoir has been tested and the algae there is putting out toxins over an acceptable level (set by EPA). Norwalk was given approval by EPA to treat upper with chemicals and did so Monday evening. Staff is monitoring it closely for a re-application. Our signs and restrictions on the upper reservoir will stay in place until the toxins are at an acceptable level.

Per a release from the city of Norwalk...

The City of Norwalk's water plant personnel today detected a possible harmful algae bloom in Upper Reservoir.

Upper Reservoir has been isolated from Memorial and Lower Reservoirs. There are no similar blooms in the other reservoirs. The cites drinking water is produced form water in Lower Reservoir, and as such, is unaffected by the bloom in Upper Reservoir.

The algae in Upper reservoir is capable of producing toxins harmful to human and pets. Tests for toxins are underway, and results should be available by tomorrow.

As a precaution, no boats are being allowed in Upper Reservoir. Humans and pets should not have any contact with the water in Upper Reservoir. Most importantly, pets should not be allowed to drink from Upper Reservoir.


Really are you ...

The upper reservoir is low. No chance of the water in the upper to flow over the dam to get to the lower reservoir.


The upper reservoir doesn't flow into the lower reservoir, it flows into Memorial which isn't part of the drinking water supply. The upper reservoir can supply the lower reservoir if needed through a pipe and valve which has been closed until the toxins are under control.

Fibber Mcgee

The upper hasn't fed the lower in years, I don't think there is even a pipe anymore between the 2. Upper feeds Memorial, which in turns has a small diameter pip that leads to the lower and feeds the lower and can be adjusted to maintain levels in the lower.


What caused this? I thought the reservoir was isolated and wasn't exposed to runoff. Anyone know the source?


The reservoir is supplied by runoff from all the farmer fields around it. From what I understand, this runoff contains fertilizers the farmers use in their fields which the algae then feed on.


Huron: You needed to ask the question because you believe the comments about urban sewage causing much of the problem.

The Norwalk Reservoir and Lake St. Mary do not have sewage releases, yet contain the toxic algae.


The only "sewage" going into the Norwalk Reservoir is from what the farmers are putting on the fields. You know, the brown stuff mixed in with the straw that is flung out behind a tractor.