U.S. News


Water Toxins Spur State Of Emergency In Toledo, Ohio

Pollution causing an algae bloom in Lake Erie may be to blame for thousands unable to drink tap water in Toledo.
Posted at 6:20 PM, Aug 02, 2014

Residents of Toledo, Ohio are being warned not to drink the water as it is likely toxic. 

"The governor is involved. They've declared a state of emergency. The national guard is involved. The Ohio Department of public safety is involved. The Ohio emergency information center is up and running..."​ (Via WUPW)

The City of Toledo released this notice just after midnight Saturday telling all Toledo water customers not to consume the water. The notice says two sample readings from the water treatment plant showed excesses of microcystin in the water. 

Microcystins are toxins produced by bacteria and can cause vomiting and diarrhea when consumed. (Via Environmental Protection Agency)

The city advised residents that boiling or filtering the water will not solve the problem. As expected, water bottles began flying of the shelves at local stores. Multiple media outlets report the city is working to provide water to those who need it.

"The city contacted us and asked if we would give away water for free, so we're giving away water at all three of the fire stations." (Via  WTVG)

"The water storage in Fremont has two filling stations that are open 24 hours a day. Its one of those things where you bring your own container." ​(Via WNWO)

Some Toledo businesses have closed because of the warning. And many school athletic functions and community activities have been canceled. 

The city has known its water is a problem for at least a year. It spent $3 million in 2013 and requested an additional $1 million to pay for chemicals to treat the water supply. (Via Toledo Blade)

The city's water comes from Lake Erie — a lake with lots of algae and bacteria. (Via ​ RyanHodnett / CC BY SA 3.0)

"Nutrients, like nitrogen and prosperous found in sewage and fertilizer feed the algae. And the lake, made warmer from climate change, provides a comfortable environment."  (Via QUEST Science)

Officials say they are currently not sure how long the water advisory will last.