Tell SFPUC: Invest in Solutions to Prevent Harmful Algae Blooms & Fish Kills

Aug 10, 2022

A large harmful algae bloom has grown to cover vast portions of San Francisco Bay, causing alarming fish kills across the region. Algae thrive in warm water that receives lots of sunlight. If the water is stagnant and the concentration of nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus are high, then exponential algal reproduction can lead to a bloom. Currently, San Francisco Bay has some of the highest levels of nutrient pollution of any estuary in the world. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and other Bay Area wastewater utilities don’t remove these nutrients from wastewater before it is released into the Bay and ocean. One of San Francisco’s two water treatment plants dumps treated effluent with high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus—the building blocks of algal blooms—directly into the Bay. As a result, San Francisco Bay is fertile territory for harmful algal blooms like the red tide we are experiencing. In short: The Bay is at grave risk of future harmful algae blooms and fish kills.

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