Posted November 16, 2018 07:59:08 The Monterey Co. Department of Public Health has identified a “high risk” of contaminated drinking water in Montereys drinking water system.
The department says the water sample taken from the Monterey River at the water treatment plant in Santa Cruz County had elevated levels of the toxin, which can cause brain damage.
The Department of Water Resources says it took the water samples Monday afternoon and will analyze the water for the toxin.
The samples were taken on Sunday night and Tuesday morning.
The water tested positive for a different type of toxin called nitric oxide, which is also linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other diseases.
The Monterey Regional Water District says the elevated levels could be from two different sources.
The first is the algae bloom that has been occurring in Monteseo Bay and is spreading into other nearby areas.
The algae bloom is caused by the release of nutrients from algae in the water.
It also is a result of an algae bloom from an unknown source.
The release of nutrient from the algae blooms creates a toxic gas that can cause headaches and dizziness in people who are sensitive to it.
The second source of the high level of nitric oxides is a nearby sewage treatment plant that is producing ammonia, a fertilizer that can be toxic.
Officials are urging people in the Monteseoc Bay area to wash their hands with soap and water after handling any waste that comes into contact with the plant.