UPDATE (9:30 a.m.): Do-not-drink water advisory lifted for City of ToledoWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Toledo issued an urgent water advisory early Saturday morning. The advisory was lift at a 9:30 a.m. press conference. Read more here.
City of Toledo residents and regional residents (including portions of Lucas, Wood, Fulton and Monroe counties) who receive water from the city are asked to not drink city water until further notice, including water that has been boiled. Water should also not be given to pets.
Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins said early Monday morning that the advisory will stand after two tests of Toledo’s water came back “too close for comfort.”
“The majority of areas are satisfactory, but we still have two spots of concern,” Collins said. “I’m not going to take any chances with this community’s well-being and health. At this time, the non-consume is still in place.”
He declined to say which two areas the concerning water samples came from, but said six additional tests — three from each location — have been ordered with results expected by late Monday morning.
The original advisory notice came after water tests at the city’s Collins Park Water Treatment Plant had two sample readings for microcystin in excess of the recommended standard.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website, microcystins are toxins produced by cyanobacteria — also known as blue-green algae. Cyanobacteria “are ubiquitous in surface water when conditions are favorable for growth and formation of algal blooms. Cyanobacteria release toxins upon cell death or lysis. When released, toxins may persist for weeks to months. … While the liver is the primary target of microcystins, it is also a skin, eye and throat irritant.”
Water from the City of Oregon was not affected, according to Oregon Mayor Michael Seferian.
The City of Toledo has been giving away one case of water per family around the city. Water distribution sites are closing at 8 p.m. Sunday and are scheduled to re-open at 8 a.m. Monday. Toledo News Now is tracking current locations giving away water.
A number of area businesses are closed as a result of the advisory. Toledo Lucas-County Public Libraries and University of Toledo (UT) were closed Saturday and Sunday. Toledo Zoo closed Saturday. All Toledo Public Schools athletic activities for Saturday were also canceled. UT was scheduled to reopen Sunday at 6 p.m.
Many area restaurants were forced to close Saturday and Sunday.
“The only exception is facilities that can guarantee no consumption of tap water,” according the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.
More updates below.
UPDATE (3 a.m.):
The water advisory will stand after two tests came back “too close for comfort,” Mayor Collins said around 3 a.m. Monday.
“The majority of areas are satisfactory, but we still have two spots of concern,” he said. “I’m not going to take any chances with this community’s well-being and health. At this time, the non-consume is still in place.”
He declined to specify which two areas the questionable water samples came from, but said six additional tests — three from each location — have been ordered with results expected by late Monday morning.
Tests results from Ohio EPA and U.S. EPA show Toledo’s water is safe, he said, but results from two Toledo tests were concerning, he said.
There have been 30 tests taken of Toledo’s water so far. Twelve have come back clean, 16 “reasonably sound, within acceptable range” and two questionable, Collins said. He said the two could be anomalies, but he wants to be sure.
“This is a very difficult decision. I’m not going to isolate part of the city,” Collins said. “Waiting five hours on the side of caution makes more sense than opening it up and then closing it down in the morning.
“My prayer is by early morning hours we will see a light at the end of this tunnel that will give me comfort with this decision, but that light isn’t clear to me at this time.”
Toledo’s water plant has modified its operations, including increasing carbon, and has had “a positive effect,” Collins said.
Collins said he would discuss the water situation and test results at the Aug. 4 Toledo City Council Meeting (4 p.m. at One Government Center), where city sewer rates will also be discussed.
When the water advisory is lifted, residents will likely be advised to run tap water, but shouldn’t have to flush hot water heaters, Collins said.
UPDATE (11 p.m.):
The @EPA, @USEPARegion5 should make public what it knows about Toledo water. The public has a right to know. Transparency is essential.
— Marcy Kaptur (@RepMarcyKaptur) August 4, 2014
Toledoans have handled a very difficult challenge like champions. People helping people everywhere.
— Marcy Kaptur (@RepMarcyKaptur) August 4, 2014
UPDATE (9:30 p.m.):
City of Toledo has canceled the 10 p.m. press conference. No water test results will be in and release until after 1 a.m., according to Toledo News Now.
UPDATE (6:30 p.m.):
Toledo News Now is reporting Friday night’s water test results came back three times the World Health Organization standard, at three parts per billion.
This information was revealed during a U.S. EPA conference call Sunday afternoon with Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D).
The Congresswoman complained that the Ohio EPA is withholding water test results taken from Toledo’s water system, Toledo News Now is reporting. And she urged the U.S. EPA to pressure the Ohio EPA to provide those results. (The Ohio EPA did not take part in the call.)
The conference call also revealed the next test batch results may not come until late Sunday.
UPDATE (6 p.m.):
The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department announced Lucas County water distribution sites are closing at 8 p.m. and are scheduled to re-open at 8 a.m. Monday.
ProMedica announced it will cancel all non-emergency/elective surgeries on Monday, in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Health and Lucas County Health Department.
UPDATE (4:30 p.m.):
The University of Toledo announced it will resume normal operations effective at 6 p.m. The UT Medical Center remains open. UTMC’s outpatient clinics will operate on its regular schedules. The dental clinic will be closed Monday. Food operations are up and running on both UT campuses — with a limited menu. Employees are advised to bring packed lunches and drinks. Employees with questions should contact their direct supervisors.
UPDATE (3:30 p.m.):
A group of local and national officials took a boat ride to the algal bloom near the City of Toledo’s water intake facility in Western Lake Erie. Click here for photos.
National Wildlife Federation (NWF) CEO Collin O’Mara, NWF Manager of Regional Outreach Frank Szollosi, NWF Board of Directors member Bruce Wallace, Toledo City Councilman Larry Sykes, Lake Erie Waterkeeper Executive Director Sandy Bihn, Ohio 46th District Rep. Mike Sheehy, a representative from Rep. Marcy Kaptur’s office and local media members were among those on board.
“Over the next day you’re going to hear a lot about technical solutions. You are going to hear about how we can do a little bit more treatment and how we can help address the immediate crisis,” O’Mara said. “The reason I wanted to get folks out on the water today is there’s a systemic challenge that we face here in the Great Lakes that’s actually much bigger than this one crisis. And unfortunately this crisis could just be the tip of the iceberg unless we begin to address it.”
It’s more than just run-off from industry and farmers’ fields, but run-off from fertilizer individual people use on their lawns, the overuse of manure and more, as well as affected by natural causes. The consequences affect not only residents but wildlife, fisheries, businesses such as charter boats, tourism and more.
“If we don’t all pull together to address these nutrient challenges we’re going to continue to see these kinds of events occur over and over again,” O’Mara said. “We need to address the shortterm crisis but we need to think long-term.”
“What you do here in response to this crisis could become a bit of national model,” he said.”This is my worst nightmare, not being able to drink the water,” Bihn added. “But maybe its a opportunity to find the solutions we need.”
UPDATE (3 p.m.):
Republic Services issued a statement Sunday afternoon about City of Toledo recycling, especially empty plastic water bottles.
Republic Services has worked with The Lucas County Solid Waste Management District and Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful to coordinate a recycling effort for empty plastic water bottles.
Public health and safety remain the top priority. Once you have received safe drinking water, we also want to keep our community clean and care for the environment.
Beginning with tomorrow’s recycling collection routes, Republic will collect recycling overflow due to the increased need for water bottles. Your standard recycling cart/bin should be filled first. Then, residents are asked to place empty plastic water bottles in plastic bags and place them on the curb, next to your recycling cart/bin. These bags should be placed next to your recycling container, not your trash container. Republic will collect the bags during your normal recycling collection day.
This applies to residents throughout metro Toledo who are serviced by Republic Services, including Toledo, Sylvania, Maumee, Swanton and Monclova Township. It also applies to subscription customers in Perrysburg Township, Sylvania Township, Springfield Township, Washington Township and Monroe County, Mich.
UPDATE (9:45 a.m.):
At a 9:30 a.m. press conference, Mayor D. Michael Collins said Gov. John Kasich is heading to Toledo and is expected to arrive between 1 and 1:30 p.m.
Collins said water tests continue but more are needed. The first analysis shows improvements.
“Everything trending in positive direction,” he said, but the water advisory still stands.
UPDATE (9:30 a.m.):
The Toledo Zoo will open today at 10 a.m. The zoo provided an update via Facebook that the animals are fine and it is using water reserves.
“None of them has shown any signs of sickness related to the water situation, though we continue to monitor them closely,” the post said.
UPDATE (9:15 a.m.):
Testing results face delays. Gathering samples took longer than expected. Factual info will be relayed when we have it.
— D. Michael Collins (@DMCToledo) August 3, 2014
UPDATE (9 a.m. Sunday):
Mayor Collins has reportedly been on a conference call with Ohio Governor John Kasich, EPA officials and others for much of the morning. Local officials are standing by for word on test results.
UPDATE (11 p.m. Saturday):
Mayor Collins said more water samples are being sent for testing as EPA wants to see how numbers fluctuated through the day.
Dr. David Grossman, director of the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, said people with liver or skin conditions may still want to avoid showering, but overall things have been smooth from health standpoint.
Another update is expected around 7-7:30 a.m.
Water distribution will resume at Oregon fire stations at 8 a.m. Sunday. Distribution will resume at Waite, Woodward, Central Catholic and Springfield high schools at 9 a.m.
Those who are homebound and need water delivered can call American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio at (419) 329-6060 starting at 8 a.m.
UPDATE (9 p.m.):
As of 9 p.m., the EPA test results of water samples sent to Cincinnati, Columbus and Michigan have not been returned. Mayor D. Michael Collins does not expect full test results for at least another nine hours.
UPDATE (7:45 p.m.):
No water results yet, mayor’s Chief of Staff Bob Reinbolt just told media. “We have no test results yet that show any definitive results,” he said. Results now expected by 9 p.m.
UPDATE (7 p.m.):
The American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio, Lucas County Emergency Management Agency and other local and government officials and community partners are coordinating to activate volunteers to assist with bulk distribution of water to the communities affected by the recent water ban in Fulton, Lucas and Wood Counties, according to a news release from the Red Cross.
Distribution sites supplied by local government and staffed by Red Cross volunteers will be available for each family to receive one case of water at the following locations:
- Springfield High School, 1470 S. McCord Road, Holland, 6-11 p.m.
- Woodward High School, 701 E. Central Ave, Toledo, 6-11 p.m.
- Central Catholic High School, 2550 Cherry St, Toledo, 4-11 p.m.
- Waite High School – 301 Morrison Drive, Toledo, 4-11 p.m.
Individuals who are homebound can call (419) 329.6060 and be placed on a distribution list for delivery of water to their place of residence. Volunteers will be available to answer phones at the local Red Cross office until 9 p.m. tonight and tomorrow beginning at 8 a.m. should the ban still be in effect.
People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters. </span><span style=”font-size: small;”>Individuals wishing to make small in-kind donations may take them to the O.D.O.T. distribution Center at 4080 Technology Dr., Maumee.
UPDATE (5 p.m.):
Toledo News Now reporting via Oregon Fire Chief: Water distribution at station No.3 on Bay Shore closing at 6 p.m. Other two Oregon stations open till 9 p.m. All three open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow.
UPDATE (4:25 p.m.):
Eight semi trucks filled with bottled water are making their way to local churches and organizations to help with the water crisis.
Cherry Street Mission, 1Matters and EnPuzzlement, which is part of a national network called HEH, have partnered to provide water to Cherry Street Mission, Hope Community Church, Crossroads Community Church and more, said Ken Leslie of 1Matters.org.
A load of water is set for arrival at 7 a.m. Aug. 3. These distribution sites are not open to the public but are for the church congregants and those who receive assistance from participating organizations.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which partners with 1Matters.org, will give water to 22 invalid or shut-in veterans, Leslie said.
“There’s no need for the community to panic,” Leslie said. “If they do see a further need it will be taken care of. They are an excellent group who are pulling things to together really well. The mayor is leading the charge. Our community is coming together.”
UPDATE (3:15 p.m.):
Per Bedford Township Supervisor Greg Stewart and Monroe County Emergency Management Specialist Susan Martinez:
City of Monroe Water Department and Frenchtown Water Department are assisting residents in Monroe County impacted by the water emergency by distributing potable water. They have established water filling stations to allow residents to obtain potable water at the following locations:
- Ida Township Hall, 3016 Lewis Ave, Ida, Michigan
- Manufacturer’s Market Place/Hardwood Plaza (North of McDonald’s), 14930 LaPlaisance Road, Monroe, Michigan
- Frenchtown Water Plant, 5300 North Dixie Hwy, Monroe, Michigan
Residents must bring their own containers to fill. Prior to use, residents are encouraged to boil the water if the containers are not considered potable.</div>
Per Swancreek Rural Water District Trustee Mark Fowler:
Water distribution points already set up at Delta, Lyons, Swanton and Wauseon fire departments.
Beginning at 3 p.m. today, Swancreek Township Hall at Fulton County roads D and 5-2 will have water for distribution.
Beginning at 6 p.m. today, Swanton Middle School on Cherry Street in Swanton will have water for distrubtion.
Water will be available at least through tonight (Saturday).
Water trustees ask that water distribution be limited to 5 gallons per person. Also any water district customer who has friends, family or neighbors with working water wells are encouraged to seek water from them. The Lake Erie microcystin problem that has caused the City of Toledo to advise water customers to not consume tap water does not affect water wells, Fowler said.
UPDATE (2:45 p.m.):
The City of Toledo issues a press release just after 2:30 p.m.
The Do Not Drink Advisory is still in place.
The Governor has issued Lucas County and surrounding Ohio communities as a State of Emergency. The Governor, City of Toledo, Lucas County Emergency Management Agency, Lucas County, surrounding cities, law enforcement, and health and safety personnel are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.
The distribution system is being established, which will include resupply of that distribution system as needed. We are asking residents if they already have water, please continue with your day, and allow residents without water to be able to purchase water.
Our distribution centers are being coordinated with American Red Cross. This is for emergency water only. If you already have bottled water at home, do not come to the distribution center. One case of water per family will be distributed.
Distribution centers are being established at the following times and locations:
- 5:00 P.M.
- Central Catholic High School, 2250 Cherry Street, Toledo, Ohio 43608
- Waite High School, 301 Morrison Drive, Toledo, Ohio 43605
- 6:00 P.M.
- Woodward High School, 701 East Central Avenue, Toledo, OH 43608
- Springfield High School, 1470 South McCord Rd, Holland, OH 43528
Water stations that are open now are:
- Oregon Fire Department Station #1 located at 5002 Seaman Rd
- Oregon Fire Department Station #2 located at 1102 S. Wheeling St
- Oregon Fire Department Station #3 located at 4421 Bayshore Rd
- Village of Whitehouse Fire Department located at 10550 Waterville Street
Residents are being asked to check in on their home-bound neighbors and share water with them if possible.
Our samples from our treatment plant have been air lifted to testing sites in Columbus and Cincinnati. To ensure public safety additional tests are being done at outside locations. We expect our results in a few hours.
We reiterate that the following is still in effect:
- It is safe for healthy adults to bathe, wash their hands, and shower. While bathing, children should be under the supervision of an adult to prevent accidental drinking of the water.
- 2. Do not drink tap water until the all clear is given, this also includes pets.
- 3. Do not use tap water to cook until the all clear is given.
- 4. Do not boil tap water.
- 5. It is ok to use and flush your toilet.
Water Information Hotline – 419-936-2020
UPDATE (2 p.m.):
At an 1:45 p.m. press conference, Mayor D. Michael Collins said water sample is currently being tested in Cincinnati. He spoke with the governor and another sample is en route to Michigan.
At 3:30 p.m., another sample will be sent to Columbus to be tested.
“We will have 3 independent sources to test this water,” he said.
The mayor also said the Ohio National Guard is working to transport water to the area.
“As soon as we know where they are, where the water is, we will provide that water to you,” instead of waiting in lines, he said.
“We have water coming from Columbus, Delaware, Cincinnati, Akron,” he said. “We will be sure that every family is accommodated with water.”
UPDATE (1 p.m.): Updates from Mayor D. Michael Collins on Twitter:
Results of water testing are expected from US EPA this evening around 7:30
— D. Michael Collins (@DMCToledo) August 2, 2014
So far, no reports of illness from the water
— D. Michael Collins (@DMCToledo) August 2, 2014
UPDATE (12:45 p.m.):
Swancreek Rural Water District, which serves much of eastern Fulton County with water it buys from Toledo, is meeting this afternoon to discuss options for getting water to its customers while Toledo sorts out its water contamination problem, said water district trustee Mark Fowler.
Those options include getting a supply from surrounding municipal water systems, such as Swanton, Delta or Wauseon, or bringing in a tanker truck or a supply of bottled water, for distribution to water customers at various points around the district’s service area, he said.
Even after Toledo clears up its problem, he said, there is the matter of clearing the affected water out of the district’s network of water lines, which cover most of eastern Swancreek Township in Fulton County and stretching north to Metamora on the Michigan line.
“We’re talking millions of gallons of water” sitting in the pipes that must be cleared out by an influx of safe water, he said.
The water district’s network feeds off a 24-inch water main running direct from Toledo’s water system to the NorthStar steel plant west of Delta.
Fowler said he recommended rural water customers make arrangements with neighbors who still draw water from ground wells if they can.
“It’s a limited supply but (most wells) should be able to (sharing) handle five gallons or so,” he said.
For every resident in the district’s service area who is tied into the water system, Fowler said,
According to a groundwater resource map that is part of the Fulton County Water Supply and Demand Analysis final report published in July 2012, the groundwater in the eastern part of Swancreek Township comes from a layer of carbonate rock supplying 100 to 500 gallons per minute.
However, north of Swanton, in an area also supplied by the Swancreek district, the ground turns to shale and the groundwater supply quickly drops to 3-10 gallons per minute.
Going west, the central part of the county is a vast stretch of glacial sand, gravel and clay supplies 3-10 gallons a minute until reaching the northwest part of the county, where groundwater supplies rise again to 100-500 gallons a minute.
UPDATE (11:45 a.m.):
The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department issued a statement at 11:40 a.m. for all restaurants and food facilities. “Due to the Do Not Drink Water Advisory, we are strongly recommending that restaurants and food facilities temporarily suspend their operations. The only exception is facilities that can guarantee no consumption of tap water.”
At an 11:45 a.m. press conference, Mayor D. Michael Collins said water test results are expected by 7 p.m. Saturday and no illnesses have been reported so far. State of Emergency for Lucas County has been declared by the state of Ohio. The City of Toledo will start setting up distribution centers at schools, he said. One case of water per family to start.
UPDATE (11:30 a.m.):
Toledo water emergency: FEMA has an incident management team on standby if the state requests their help.
— Marcy Kaptur (@RepMarcyKaptur) August 2, 2014
Gov. John Kasich has declared a State of Emergency for all areas which receive water from the City of Toledo.
Here is a map from the City of Toledo:
The Department of Public Utilities provides 26 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water a year to 500,000 people through 125,000 residential, commercial and industrial accounts in Lucas, Wood and Fulton Counties in Ohio, and Monroe County, Michigan.
On Facebook, the City of Toledo advised residents: “Any method that the water can be ingested is not advised. This includes washing dishes, vegetables, etc. Filtration systems, such as carbon filters, will not remove the toxins.”
From the Bedford Now: Residents in Monroe County started buying water off shelves at 4 a.m after the City of Toledo issued its water warning. The Monroe County residents included in the alert are those from South County Water district which serves Bedford and Erie Townships, Luna Pier and portions of LaSalle Township. The City of Monroe is not included in the alert, along with Whiteford and Frenchtown Townships. They have different water systems.
For Swanton residents: Water customers immediately surrounding Swanton’s municipal system either take their water from ground wells — said to be safe — or from the Swancreek Rural Water District, which buys water from Toledo. A recorded message at the Water District’s office, located in the Swancreek Township office on County Road D near Delta, told callers that testing was being done at throughout the water district’s system, including at the connection point at the Fulton-Lucas County line. Water district customers were told to follow all advisories from Toledo regarding their water.
UPDATE (11 a.m.):
The Mayor’s office in Luna Pier said it has made arrangements to funnel water from Monroe Township. Fire trucks will pick up the water and residents will be able to fill water bottles after noon today.
UPDATE (10:30 a.m.):
Toledo Zoo will be closed today. University of Toledo announces it will be closed today and all non-health care functions have been cancelled. All Toledo Public School athletic activities for today have been cancelled. Toledo Lucas-County Public LIbraries will be closed today.
Many area restaurants will also be forced to close today. Officials are recommending that if your business uses water in any way that you remain closed today.
Wood County Emergency Management is working to provide bottled water to Rossford residents. Pick-up locations to be announced soon by Rossford Police.
Oregon Mayor Michael Seferian said people can bring jugs to fill water at fire stations at 1102 South Wheeling, Seaman and Wynn, and on Bayshore Road.
UPDATE (10 a.m.):
At a 9:30 a.m. press conference at Lucas County Emergency Management Building, City of Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins said the city is testing the water and will keep the media up to date.
“First and foremost, residents must remain calm,” he said.
Collins said the water is not safe for consumption or cooking, but is safe for healthy adults to use the water for bathing.
Health Department Commissioner Dr. David Grossman said kids shouldn’t bathe in this because they splash the water around and may consume it.
Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, according to Grossman. Anyone who exhibits these symptoms should contact his or her doctor.
“We’re testing the water. We’ll have updated test results later this afternoon,” said Lisa Ward, Collin’s spokesperson. “We are currently working to restore water supplies and working on a different water distribution.”
Ward said updates will occur throughout the day.
The water has been contaminated by large, algae blooms on Lake Erie, where the city takes its water, Ward said.
Stay tuned to this post, along with Twitter and Facebook for more information.
The full original press release from the city is below:
URGENT NOTICE TO RESIDENTS OF TOLEDO & LUCAS COUNTY WHO RECEIVE WATER FROM THE CITY OF TOLEDO
DO NOT DRINK THE WATER
DO NOT BOIL THE WATER
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.
Most importantly, water should not be consumed until an all clear is issued. It is important to state that 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 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. Skin contact with contaminated water can cause irritation or rashes. Contact a veterinarian immediately if pets or livestock show signs of illness.
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.
Please stay tuned to media for more information and share this information with friends, family or neighbors that may not have been informed through this media release. A phone number for the public to call will be included in a future release.