This toxic blue-green algae in China’s third largest freshwater lake Taihu, which supplies Wuxi city with drinking water, has been making the water increasingly toxic for millions as it blooms heavier each year. These photos taken on May 25, 2014 show the battle with the thick green slime is far from over.
In 2007 it was so bad, so thick, that it sunk to the lake bottom in huge layers and began to rot. So not only was the water becoming toxic, but it got real stinky. Locals started complaining that their drinking water smelled like rotting fish. That’s when the news of the lake went national, and local officials got serious about sorting it out.
In an article from 2012 in Yale Environment 360 discussing the local officials plans and attempts to solve the problem, it explains that the algae bacterium “produces toxins that can damage the liver, intestines, and nervous system.”
Pollution and factory run-off is the main culprit, but huge amounts of sewage running in from rivers, along with farmers chemical fertilizers are all being pointed at.