“The West Palm Beach water advisory has been lifted, but water and utility experts say it’s most likely a matter of when, not if, it happens again.
The city had to issue an advisory for vulnerable populations to stop drinking tap water after high levels of blue-green algae toxins were detected in the water source.
Because West Palm Beach gets its drinking water supply from surface water at Clear Lake, it is susceptible to algae blooms.
Jerry Phillips, Director of Florida Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, told CBS12 News the state has to set limits on the nutrients like fertilizer that are discharged into waterways in order to get the algae threat under control.
“You have excessive nutrient loading come from north to south, from cattle ranches and fertilizer applications to crops,” he said. “Those are heavily laden with phosphorous, nitrogen. When they discharge, and migrate into the surface waters, the levels build up. This is not anything new. This is something people have been advising about for decades. And no one wants to do anything about it.””