TOLEDO, Ohio — A water ban that had hundreds of thousands of people in Ohio and Michigan scrambling for drinking water has been lifted, Toledo's mayor announced Monday.
Mayor D. Michael Collins called the drinking water safe and lifted the ban at a Monday morning news conference.
"Our water is safe," Collins said. "Families can return to normal life."
Ohio's fourth-largest city warned residents not to use city water early Saturday after tests at one treatment plant showed readings for microcystin above the standard for consumption, most likely from algae on Lake Erie. Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency.
Early Monday, Collins kept in place an advisory against drinking or using the water pending additional tests. At a 3 a.m. news conference, Collins said he decided to keep the advisory in place, even though latest test results suggest the algae-induced toxin contaminating the lake had probably dissipated to safe levels. The mayor said two tests had come back "too close for comfort."
Later Monday, Collins said six new test results came back without traces of the toxin.
City officials recommended that residents who had not used their water since the ban started flush out their systems by running water. They also cautioned everyone not to all do it at once, and told people not to water lawns or wash cars at the risk of overwhelming the system.