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Island importing drinking water

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- A Lake Erie island popular with U.S. tourists is importing drinking water after recent algae blooms in the lake reduced its water plant's output, officials say.

Ferryboats spent Thursday carrying trucks filled with drinking water to the South Bass Island community of Put-in-Bay, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported.

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"We're not actually running out of water," Put-in-Bay village administrator Doug Knauer told the newspaper Friday. "We're just being cautious in case there's a house fire or a water main break."

"We're going to be bringing in an extra 60,000 gallons a day," he said.

The island's water plant, which normally produces about 450,000 gallons daily, is down to about 300,000 to 310,000 a day because the algae is slowing down the filtration process, Knauer said.

August and September are peak months for algae blooms in the area, Dina Pierce, an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman, said.

"Right now it's thick enough it's clogging intake filters," Pierce said. "This process is keeping them from building up their supplies."

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