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Mayor Collins asks residents to conserve water for rest of summer

Urges shorter showers, no lawn watering

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    Algae is visible in Lake Erie near the Toledo water intake crib. Ed Moore, director of Public Utilities, said that the city could not have prevented what happened over the weekend because algae bloomed right over the city’s water intake plant.

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Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins told metro area residents today they stand a better chance of getting clean tap water for the rest of the 2014 algae season if they become more selective about how they use it.

“I believe this community will fortify this [water] system through more conservation,” he told reporters inside One Government Center.

MAYOR’‍S STATEMENT: Residents urged to conserve, reduce usage

Residents are asked to refrain from watering their lawns or irrigating fields. They are asked to stop washing their cars at home. They also should take shorter showers, wash only full loads of laundry and dishes, and operate washing machines and dishwashers on their most energy-efficient modes.

In other words, they need to keep two simple words in mind: conserve water.

Doing so, according to Mr. Collins and other city officials, will reduce the odds of the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant from being stressed.

Less demand means a slower flow rate and the ability for chemicals used to neutralize algae to work as water makes its way through the city‘‍s multi-staged treatment system.

“It gives chemicals more time to take effect and allows the plant to produce better water,” Ed Moore, the city’‍s public utilities director, said.

City crews are repairing one of the plant’‍s six floculators, which mix raw water from Lake Erie with treatment chemicals that remove sediment and algae. The mayor’‍s statement said the repairs will take four days to complete.

“We’‍re getting through this challenge by working together and that teamwork will continue to serve us well,” the mayor said. “We all need to pull together now to reduce our water usage for the next four days in order to conduct some maintenance that will keep our water system in strong operating condition through the current algal bloom but over the long term as well.”

Mr. Collins said the repair situation is not a crisis, but that “good, basic common-sense water conservation steps” that people should take anyway will help ease demand on the system.

While the repairs should be done in four days, Mr. Collins asked that residents continue to conserve water through the algae season, which normally runs into September. The city is suspending “artistic” uses of water, such as the water fountain outside One Government Center.

Mr. Collins also said he plans to ask state and federal officials to address the algae problem in Lake Erie.

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