“Excess algae can also affect the taste of drinking water as well as increase the costs of treating the water,” according to DEQ.
Ironically, Thunderbird may have been protected from algal bloom this summer by another of its issues — turbidity.
“Turbidity doesn’t let the light in, and that’s why you get less algae,” Norman Utilities Director Ken Komiske said. “We have a very good water treatment plant that takes care of most of our issues. Right now, we’re doing a pilot project using ozone to help improve the taste and odor.”
In layman’s terms, turbidity is caused by sediment in the water. This sediment is easy enough to remove, though it can create mechanical wear on water supply pumps and systems, increasing treatment costs.
The bigger issue, however, is that the sediment transports pesticides or other chemicals into the lake which are difficult to remove in order to produce high-quality drinking water.