400,000 in US city told not to drink tap water

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WASHINGTON: Residents of Toledo, Ohio will learn Sunday when they can drink tap water again after officials warned that the water supply was polluted with toxins likely released by algae blooms.

At least 400,000 people in the midwestern city and its suburbs were also warned not to boil the water because that would increase the concentration of the microcystin toxin.

Toledo Mayor Michael Collins wrote late Saturday on his Twitter account that the water tests had been delayed, and that the city still had no results.

“We believe that we will be able to move forward by mid-afternoon on Sunday,” Collins wrote.


The local Red Cross said that the toxin can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and affect liver functions but is rarely fatal to humans.

Governor John Kasich issued a state of emergency for three counties Saturday due to the contaminated water, allowing state officials to divert water to the affected area.

National Guard soldiers were mobilized to help distribute bottled water in Toledo.

Toledo-Lucas County Health Department Director David Grossman told local CBS affiliate WAFB that the emergency response has been “remarkable,” and that there is “plenty of water for everybody to get through the immediate crisis.”

However the long-term issue of the toxins must be addressed, he said.

Residents can wash their hands and take showers with the tap water, Grossman said.

City of Toledo officials however issued a statement urging restaurants not to use the tap water to wash dishes.

“Be careful with fresh foods purchased from grocery today. Things like freshly misted produce could be contaminated,” the Ohio Red Cross said in a statement.

The Red Cross also urged locals to throw out any ice they may have in their freezer.

Following the declaration of emergency, the Kroger supermarket chain on Saturday shipped 1.25 million bottles of water to area stores and donated 4,800 one-gallon jugs of water, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency said.

The city gets its water from Lake Erie, where the algae has bloomed due to phosphorous and nitrogen from farm fertilizer runoff.

AFP

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1 Comment

  1. Arch. Lito L. Mallonga on

    If we do not take care of our environment now we will be worst than what has just happened in USA. Remember that PH with all the 7,100 Islands are surrounded by the sea, lakes and rivers. We do not have segregation on garbage and most of our
    garbage dump do not have underlays including perforated pipes to bring up those
    build up gasses below just like they do in North America.

    We do not know where those residues coming from those garbage below and I am 100% sure it has to go towards our underground water. It has to find somewhere
    to get out. Technical professionals who read my views I am sure will agree with
    me. We are not politicians who just talk talk and talk. But once they found out the
    problem they are the very first one to take advantage and plug it in to the MEDIA
    on why it has not been address by the present government in office again and again.
    Time to wake up to address those garbage on how they are being disposed. Drywalls,
    Paints including Medical should not be dump here but should be either recycled or burned.

    Remember that water is larger than the land. It might be very slow but once it hit us all
    that is the end of it. Climate change right now might be a problem for all of us but water is the worst of its kind as all depends on water . Remember out Biology in
    high school on photosynthesis. Its the Cycle of the WORLD .