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Published: Sunday, 8/17/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

Toledo water remains safe to drink

BLADE STAFF

After increasing the chemicals used to treat the city’s water supply Saturday, the water remains safe to drink, officials said today.

Larry Vasko, deputy commissioner of the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, said not only were the latest round of tests positive, but Edward Moore, director of the city’s department of public utilities, advised him today that the water coming into the city’s treatment plant was better.

“That takes stress off the whole system,” Mr. Vasko said.

Lisa Ward, spokesman for Mayor D. Michael Collins, said today that while the water is safe to drink, the city plans to notify the public whenever the level of microcystin exceeds 0.5 parts per billion.

Microcystin is a toxin emitted by blue-green microcystis algae that have bloomed in western Lake Erie for several weeks.

“If it’s 0.5 or above, that’s when it opens up notification to the Ohio EPA,” she said. “We’re just going to be a little more proactive so when we get to the point where we have to notify the EPA, we’re going to keep notifying the public.”

Residents may notice a film in their water that’s due to the increased alum and chlorine used to treat the water, but the water still is safe to drink, she said.

Of the 33 samples taken at 8 p.m. Saturday, 18 were lower than 0.3 parts per billion, and the others ranged from 0.302 to 0.406 parts per billion.

Earlier, the microcystin level in treated water at the Collins Park plant approached, but did not quite reach, the 1 part per billion threshold at which a do-not-drink order would have been issued. The sample that returned a 0.972 part per billion test result was taken Friday.

Tests taken on the evening of Aug. 1 and early morning of Aug. 2 at the Toledo water plant showed microcystin exceeding 1 part per billion in the treated water, which prompted officials to issue a do-not-drink order that remained in effect until midmorning Aug. 4.



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