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Toledo mayor lifts water ban in northwest Ohio

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published August 4, 2014 at 8:25 a.m. Updated August 4, 2014 at 9:52 a.m.


The City of Toledo water intake crib is surrounded by algae Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, in Lake Erie, about 2.5 miles off the shore of Curtice, Ohio.

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.


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Nodmcm says... August 4, 2014 at 10:15 p.m.

I wonder if many people in Toledo will believe the mayor's claim that the water is safe. That green algae looks pretty solid near that water intake in that photo taken Sunday. I wonder if the mayor got in hot water (pun not intended) when the city told people that their children could not even bathe in city water? I read that some families with small children were bathing them in bottled water. I wonder how many 20 oz. bottles it takes to clean up a dirty five-year-old child? If I lived there, I might not trust that city water again until the first freeze later this year. I certainly hope that Arkansas is free of that sort of overgrowth of algae in public drinking water supplies. I wonder if that hog farm in the Buffalo River watershed produces the phosphorous necessary for algae blooms to form in the first place. I wonder if there are any souls downstream of that hog farm who are actually using Buffalo River water to drink, or bathe their children. Finally, I wonder how many people in Toledo have become instant environmentalists on account of this terrible environmental catastrophe, apparently caused by human activities.

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FreeSpiritMan says... August 4, 2014 at 10:41 p.m.

John Kasich will explain next week how this is Obama's fault after he consults with Ted Cruz.

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