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Drinking water safe despite smell

I-75 flyover gains Sarasota County approvals

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  • | 7:50 a.m. May 3, 2017
  • East County
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Water safe despite changes in taste

If your drinking water tastes a little funny, do not worry too much. It is still safe to drink, Manatee County Utilities officials say.

This time of year, water customers may notice a somewhat different taste and odor as a result of algae blooms that are common on Lake Manatee, the county drinking water supply.

Utilities officials said today water tests over the past several weeks indicate elevated levels of blue-green algae which leaves an earthy and/or musty taste or odor in the water. There are no known health effects caused by the presence of these compounds.

In addition to its standard water treatment standards, Utilities officials add a powder-activated carbon to the treatment process to prevent any effect on customers’ water. The water remains entirely safe to drink.

“It is our hope that by informing the public of this potential impact of the algal bloom, we are able to alleviate any concerns that may arise in case a customer detects an earthy taste or smell in their water,” said Manatee County Water Manager Mark Simpson in a statement. “We will continue monitoring and treatment efforts until water quality returns to normal.”

Customers can offset the change in taste by using a filtration system, chilling the water before drinking or adding drops of lemon juice to a glass of water.

For additional information or questions about this or other water quality issues,  contact the Manatee County Water Treatment Plant Quality Control Laboratory staff at 746-3020, Ext. 228 or Ext. 226.


Flyover makes county plans

Sarasota County commissioners further cemented plans to construct a bridge across Interstate 75.

Board members on April 25 approved a comprehensive plan amendment that incorporates a flyover connecting Lakewood Ranch Boulevard in the east to Cattlemen Road to the west. 

“For the past two years we have been working closely with the nNeighbors and county staff to determine the best location for this important piece of the transportation grid,” said Richard Bedford, vice president of planning for Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch. “By placing this bridge on the Comprehensive Plan, funding becomes more likely, and hopefully sooner.”

SMR is responsible for engineering the bridge, but Sarasota County will fund and construct it. No timeline for doing so has yet been set.

Having engineering plans ready could allow the project to qualify for state or federal funding.


Administrator search begins

Manatee County commissioners on April 25 took the first official step toward hiring a new county administrator.

The board agreed to hire Springstead Waters & Company of Kansas City to conduct a national search for Manatee’s top post.

Current County Administrator Ed Hunzeker is set to after the expiration of his contract, Jan. 29, 2018.

In December, the board voted 4-3 to hire a search firm rather than renewing Hunzeker’s contract. Hunzeker had not asked for a contract renewal and had stated publicly his service to Manatee County would end in early 2018.


Research day raises overdose awareness

Students, faculty and staff Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Bradenton  put a public focus on research during a special Research Day event April 20.

Students presented more than 70 research posters at the campus-wide event.

“Students, faculty and staff have a common mission: to expand our knowledge through research and gain a clear understanding of how inter-professionalism is required to maximize wellness for those entrusted to our care,” said Tim Novak, event coordinator and director of LECOM’s master of health services administration program, in a statement.

Interactive efforts included presentations on Manatee County’s recently launched drug epidemiology network, the use of the drug naloxone (Narcan) to combat drug overdoses and an overview of medication-assisted treatment to overcome addition, among others. 


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