Uncovering - and Cleaning Up - Toxins at Drinking Water Plants with Support from Ohio Sea Grant

Research to protect our water supply continues at Kent State University in the laboratory of Dr. Xiaozhen Mou, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences.

Cleaning Up Toxins from Algal Blooms

Along with Dr. Teresa Cutright (Professor, University of Akron), Dr. Mou recently received new funding from Ohio Sea Grant to study removal of toxins during the treatment of drinking water. The toxins she will study for this grant are made by certain types of algal blooms that have become common in many lakes, including Lake Erie.
Dr. Mou on a research vessel

The grant is entitled “Removing cyanotoxins in drinking water plants: best strategy when saxitoxin and anatoxin-a present alone or with microcystins” and provides $127,770 over two years.

Detecting Chemicals Traced to Home Use

Meanwhile, Dr. Mou continues to look for another group of chemicals in our drinking water: the kind that we make and use ourselves. More specifically, she is measuring levels of pharmaceutical and personal care compounds at drinking water plants, and finding that many chemicals can persist through the treatment process. This includes compounds used as antibiotics, anti-seizure medications, anti-inflammatories, insect repellants, and hormones.

This research was also funded by Ohio Sea Grant, and is done in collaboration with Dr. Laura Leff, Professor and Chair of Biological Sciences. Read a full article on this research here.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - 11:49am
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - 4:17pm
Chris Blackwood