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Has golden algae been found in the Brazos River basin?

Yes, golden algae is present in parts of the basin year round. However, the great majority of the time it is at such a level that it has not caused a threat to fish in a few years. Fish kills occur when algae blooms and becomes toxic. This happened most recently in 2007, when the basin experienced a widespread fish kill.
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What is golden algae?

Golden algae is a naturally occurring microscopic algae that typically occurs in brackish water. Blooms of this algae can produce toxins that are lethal to fish and bivalves (mussels and clams). There is no evidence the toxins produced by golden algae are harmful to humans, livestock or wildlife.  It characteristically appears as brownish or tea-colored water.
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What are algae?

Algae are photosynthetic organisms that may befound in water. There are many types of alga and any number of the different types may exist in one waterbody at the same time.
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Occasionally, my water has an offensive odor and taste? Why?

The woody, musty, earthy taste that shows up from time to time in our drinking water is normally due to natural causes. The main culprit: algae. When blue-green algae end their lifecycle they emit an oily substance called geosmin, which has a distinctive earthy taste that humans can detect in even small concentrations. While this added flavor in drinking water can be annoying, it poses no health hazard.While water utilities have long worked to reduce the prevalence of the offensive taste and odo...
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The information provided on this site is intended as background on water within the Brazos River basin. There should be no expectation that this information is all encompassing, complete or in any way examines every aspect of this very complex natural resource.

If you have questions about a post or would like additional information, please contact us or call 888-922-6272.

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