Before the 2014 Toledo Water Crisis left half a million residents without safe drinking water for three days, Dr. Jason Huntley’s research at The University of Toledo focused on bacteria that cause pneumonia.
After the harmful algal bloom prompted the city of Toledo’s “Do Not Drink” advisory, the microbiologist expanded his research projects to target microcystin.
“I live here, and I have a young son,” said Huntley, associate professor in the UT Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “I don’t want toxins in the water, and I am committed to helping the water treatment plant protect the public.”
Huntley’s research lab recently made major progress in his mission to create a biofilter that uses naturally occurring Lake Erie bacteria to remove microcystin released by harmful algal blooms from drinking water, reducing or eliminating the use of chlorine and other chemicals.
“We’ve identified groups of bacteria in Lake Erie that can be used to naturally purify water. To our knowledge, these bacteria have not been previously used to fight harmful algal blooms in other parts of the world,” Huntley said.
Read more at University of Toledo