Toledo Facing "Do Not Drink the Water" Emergency

Updated 19 weeks ago
Chemists testing water at Toledo’s Collins Park Water Treatment Plant had two sample readings for microcystin in excess of the recommended “DO NOT DRINK” 1 microgram per liter standard.  This notice applies to ALL customers of Toledo water
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Water should not be consumed until an all clear is issued. This  drinking water alert does NOT recommend boiling, and in fact, boiling water can worsen the situation. Water should not be given to pets.

Additional information as to where to obtain water will be forthcoming, steps will be taken to provide drinkable water if necessary.


What happened?  What is being done?

Lake Erie, which is a source of drinking water for the Toledo water system may have been impacted by a harmful algal bloom (HAB).  These organisms are capable of producing a number of toxins that may pose a risk to human and animal health.  HABs occur when excess nitrogen and phosphorus are present in lakes and streams.  Such nutrients can come from runoff of over-fertilized fields and lawns, from malfunctioning septic systems and from livestock pens.

Additional monitoring is being conducted and we will let you know when the situation has been resolved or if additional precautions should be taken.  The water system is running additional tests to verify the severity of the microcystin levels in our water supply.

Steps are being taken to restock water supplies and to set up water distribution points.

 What should you do?

DO NOT DRINK THE WATER.  Alternative water should be used for drinking, making infant formula, making ice, brushing teeth and preparing food.  Pets should not drink the water.

DO NOT BOIL THE WATER.  Boiling the water will not destroy the toxins – it will increase the concentration of the toxins.

Consuming water containing algal toxins may result in abnormal liver function, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, numbness or dizziness.  Seek medical attention if you feel you have been exposed to algal toxins and are having adverse health effects.   Contact a veterinarian immediately if pets or livestock show signs of illness.

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