EPA Releases Three New Cyanotoxin Tools

EPA has just released three new tools that provide public water systems with examples and ready-to-use templates to tailor to their systems, as they see appropriate, and to aid in managing and communicating the risks of cyanotoxins in drinking water.  Development of these tools was highlighted in the Algal Toxin Risk Assessment and Management Strategic Plan for Drinking Water, submitted by EPA to Congress in 2015.  The tools are available at:  https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/cyanotoxins-drinking-water

  • The cyanotoxin management plan template and example plans provide a framework for states, tribes and public water systems to develop their own system-specific cyanotoxin management plans. The template includes potential steps for preparing for a bloom and mitigating the effects of a bloom including monitoring, treatment and communication activities. EPA partnered with five utilities to develop system-specific cyanotoxin management plans that provide examples of how water systems are managing cyanotoxin risks.  For questions, please contact Hannah Holsinger at holsinger.hannah@epa.gov or (202) 564-0403.
  • The cyanotoxin drinking water treatment optimization document supports public water systems in developing monitoring and treatment optimization approaches for cyanotoxins to achieve the best performance possible from each treatment process. It presents proactive approaches for water sampling and monitoring to help public water systems anticipate treatment needs and to treat cyanotoxins in drinking water. Information is presented for treating cyanotoxins using many types of water treatment.  For questions, please contact Tom Waters at waters.tom@epa.gov or (513) 569-7611.
  • The drinking water cyanotoxin risk communication toolbox is a ready-to-use, “one-stop-shop” to support public water systems, states and local governments in developing, as they deem appropriate, their own risk communication materials. It includes editable worksheets, press release templates, social media posts and other quick references. The materials focus on communicating risk and providing background information to the public prior to and during a drinking water cyanotoxin contamination event as well as general information on harmful algal blooms and cyanotoxins.  For questions, please contact Katie Foreman at foreman.katherine@epa.gov or (202) 564-3403.

EPA welcomes your questions, along with suggestions for improving any of these documents, as well as ideas for future tool development.