“Our water is safe. Families can return to normal life” said Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins on Monday, following city tests that reveal Toledo’s tap water supply is now safe after a three-day ban. Collins placed the city under a three-day ban because “I’m not going to take any chances with this community’s well-being and health,” Collins said.
Over the weekend, some chemical tests were being conducted at a nearby water plant when researchers found unusual amounts of microcystin, a toxin created by algae blooms in Lake Erie that are also caused by bad septic systems, livestock pens, and fertilizer present in fields. As a result, 400,000 Toledo, Ohio residents were told not to drink the tap water, not even to boil it or give any to their pets. Boiling the water wouldn’t eliminate the presence of microcystin. Ingesting microcystin could lead to diarrhea, headache, nausea, and even liver and kidney damage.
Now, however, city tests show that the once dangerous toxic levels have subsided in the city’s tap water. Current toxin levels are at an acceptable level, but some citizens may still have a fear of drinking a tap water supply that, with another algae bloom, could increase microcystin and toxicity levels once more. The tap water that was affected by microcystin looked as though it were a green concoction of some sort, with some calling it a drink for “The Hulk” or “green slime.”
The city of Toledo will take a hard financial hit from the tap water ban, and citizens have also been told to flush their water systems to ensure that the toxic tap water leaves and doesn’t linger in their septic or water systems.
Residents are warned to let their faucets run tap water for a little while before Toledo residents resume using their tap water once again for their domestic and leisure needs.