The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has contracted the state’s Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin to monitor filamentous algae concentrations in the South Branch of the Potomac and Cacapon rivers this summer, the Cumberland Times-News has reported.
The algae isn’t poisonous, but does impede recreational activities such as fishing, swimming and canoeing in the region.
The algae also has an impact on local drinking water. Some suppliers have had to modify their filtering techniques because the algae can affect taste and smell.
The researchers have set up eight monitoring stations along the Cacapon River drainage to monitor the river’s water quality. The study could help researchers understand how different nutrients in the water affect filamentous algae concentrations.
Image: South Branch Potomac River (Credit: wingedblue, via Flickr)