Monday, Apr 23, 2018
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Sylvania Township leaders want say in region’s water

Sylvania Township officials say they are open to a regionalized water treatment plant.

“As long as we have a say in it, that would be great,” Trustee John Jennewine said.

Trustee Neal Mahoney echoed that, adding that he would be open to hearing about ideas on the area’s water supply and would like to see the cost benefit of a regionalized plant.

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The township does not provide water to its residents. Most township residents are Lucas County water customers, and some are city of Sylvania water consumers. Both Sylvania and county water suppliers, like other surrounding entities, rely on Toledo for water.

The idea of regionalization came up at a recent Sylvania city council meeting. Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough also has suggested the city consider building its own water treatment plant.

Mr. Mahoney said that Toledo, Lucas County, and Sylvania handled the Aug. 2-4 water-contamination crisis the best they could considering the microcystin contamination by Lake Erie toxic algae was “uncharted territory.”

Upon the discovery of unsafe levels of the toxin, Toledo issued a do-not-drink water advisory for its more than 500,000 customers.

Mr. Jennewine said Toledo left the township in the dark without information about the emergency, the dangers of microcystin, and results of the city’s water tests, which were not given to surrounding entities until Monday after the ban was lifted.

“I think if people had a better understanding of what a microcystin was it may have helped. Telling people that they can’t wash dishes or shower, if you make that statement, tell us why. Our community lost millions of dollars because of restaurants and grocery stores having to throw out tons and tons of food that was touched by water,” he said.

He said that overall communications were handled poorly. He urged residents to sign up for Lucas County emergency text alerts, saying the water crisis was a good example of when such texts would be useful.

Ultimately the source of the problem is Lake Erie, he said. Alternative water sources, including reservoirs and well water, should be examined so that the community always has water, he said.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.

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