At no time since the water crisis began this month do I recall any Blade reports that the Kasich administration told Toledo how to run its water plant, as you state in your Aug. 12 editorial “Waterworld.”
The immediate problem wasn’t the treatment plant, but the toxic level of the water entering the plant. The level of toxin of the intake water is not something that just happened Aug. 2. Its buildup involves several decades of pollution that contributed to the growth of algae.
You refer to agri-business and big animal-feeding operations that support Republican elected officials in Columbus as opposing pollution controls. For the sake of transparency, your readers would appreciate your revealing these operations.
Loading a major portion of the blame for Lake Erie’s pollution on Republicans is ridiculous. Or were you thinking of supporting fall election outcomes?
Farmers innocent; don’t treat lawns
Don’t be fast to blame farmers for the pollution in Lake Erie. Fertilizer, chemicals, and manure leach deep into the soil before they reach field tiles to drain into a ditch, then a river, then Lake Erie. Leaching through the soil dilutes the chemicals.
The culprits are Toledo, Detroit, and all the other communities in the Lake Erie watershed. People in cities and towns put fertilizer and chemicals on their lawns.
When it rains, the chemicals run into paved streets, then storm sewers, and into Lake Erie. This is a concentrated runoff, unlike the diluted runoff from farms.
Lawmakers should prohibit anyone from putting fertilizer or chemicals on lawns. Those who violate that law should be subject to a heavy fine and jail time.
There also should be a law against Toledo, Detroit, and any other city or town dumping raw sewage into the Great Lakes. These laws should be passed immediately.
Let the grass grow naturally. A little brown grass or a few weeds in yards don’t hurt anything, and help Lake Erie have good water.
City could look to Land Down Under
Toledo’s water crisis is another reason for city officials to develop a relationship with Australia, Earth’s driest continent. Lessons could by learned by observing how Australians cope in a country where water shortages exist, and where residents are frequently forced to conserve.
Manoa Lane North
Editor’s note: The writer is a member of Toledo Sister Cities International and a retired Australian diplomat.