- Associated Press - Thursday, August 4, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials at Des Moines Water Works say they’ve detected a water contaminant produced by blue-green algae in the city’s drinking water but it’s at levels considered safe by federal regulators.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says if microcystin is present at elevated levels for 10 days users of public water supplies must be notified. Water Works officials say they voluntarily notified customers after two days of higher levels out of an abundance of caution.

The toxin is created when nitrogen and phosphorous levels rise during warm summer months. Consuming high levels of microcystin may cause liver, nervous system and gastrointestinal problems.

Water Works officials detected the toxin in the Raccoon River so they switched to Des Moines River water on Monday. They say farm runoff is responsible for the problem.

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