Tags: toledo | water | ban | lifted | environmentalists | worry

Toledo Water Ban Lifted, But Environmentalists Worry About Future

Image: Toledo Water Ban Lifted, But Environmentalists Worry About Future
Algae floats in Lake Erie at Maumee Bay State Park August 4, 2014 in Oregon, Ohio. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 08:27 PM

In the wake of a ban on drinking water in part of Michigan and Ohio, including Toledo, environmentalists and others continue to make calls for the safety improvement of Lake Erie and other developed bodies of water.

Over the weekend, Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins issued an emergency ban on the drinking and boiling of water from the city because of contamination caused by an algal bloom that had settled directly over the opening of the pipe connected the city’s water intake system in Lake Erie.

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"Most importantly, water should not be consumed until an all clear is issued,"
the City of Toledo’s website read Saturday. “It is important to state that this drinking water alert does NOT recommend boiling, and in fact, boiling water can worsen the situation. Water should not be given to pets.”

On Monday, Collins lifted the ban, saying the water was safe again to consume. He also drank a glass of the city’s water during a news conference to show his confidence that the water was safe.



“Consistent test results have shown microcystin no longer exceeds the recommended drinking water warning of 1 microgram per liter standard set by the World Health Organization in testing done by the City of Toledo, the Ohio EPA and the USEPA,” the city announced on its website.

The City of Toledo will continue to run tests and treat the city’s water to "ensure that it is a safe and pure resource for our water consumers."

The Ohio region’s water problems have been long in the making, also in several other areas of the U.S., caused by the runoff from cattle lots and the use of pesticides and fertilizers, The New York Times wrote. The runoff is reportedly creating the algae that becomes poisonous and contaminates drinking water.

“When we bring this subject up for conversation with the regulators, everyone sort of walks out of the room,” Donald Moline, the Toledo commissioner of public utilities, told the Times this week. “The whole drinking-water community has been raising these issues, and so far we haven’t seen a viable response.”

Adding to the frustration for conservationists, the U.S. Supreme Court has limited the ability of regulators to "protect wetlands and other watery areas that are not directly connected to streams, or that do not flow year-round" as they question Clean Water Act, the Times said. Those areas help filter off the bad stuff before it flows into rivers and lakes.

When it comes to the use of fertilizers and the issues related to pollution caused by phosphorus, environmentalists are strong backers of voluntary measures like targeted distribution of the growth-spurring substance.

“We’ve worked with farmers, and we know it works,” Jordan Lubetkin of the National Wildlife Federation in the Great Lakes region told the Times. “Voluntary programs will take you so far. But at the end of the day, you need numeric standards. You’ve got to limit the amount of phosphorus coming into the lake. That’s why you see what we’re seeing in Toledo.”

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In the wake of a ban on drinking water in part of Michigan and Ohio, including Toledo, environmentalists and others continue to make calls for the safety improvement of Lake Erie and other developed bodies of water.
toledo, water, ban, lifted, environmentalists, worry
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2014-27-05
Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 08:27 PM
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