Toledo water crisis: Half a million people without safe drinking water as toxins contaminate Ohio city supply
National guard called in to help after state of emergency declared
Sunday 03 August 2014
Up to half a million residents of one of the largest cities in Ohio are without safe drinking water after a dangerous toxin was discovered in the supply.
A state of emergency has been declared in Toledo, Ohio’s fourth largest city, and its surrounding suburbs after the contamination was discovered late on Friday.
Restaurants and even the local zoo have been forced to close as a result of the crisis, thought to be caused by a “harmful algal bloom” at the water’s source in Lake Erie, according to city officials.
The National Guard has been called in to bring water to the area after a warning against drinking from the tap sparked a shopping frenzy for clean bottled water.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Gov John Kasich said it was too early to know how long the crisis would last.
“We don’t really want to speculate on this,” he said. “When it comes to this water, we’ve got to be very careful.”
Results from tests had been expected back yesterday, according to USA Today, after the toxin was discovered in an area water treatment plant.
Blue-green algae are naturally found in lakes and ponds around Ohio.
A satellite image which shows shows the algae bloom on Lake Erie in 2011, thought to be the cause of current problems Algal blooms in Lake Erie have become fairly common in recent years, especially in the summer months, emergency operations spokesman Chris Abbruzzese told Reuters.
The blooms are rapid increases in algae levels caused by high amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous which can come from runoff water from heavily fertilized fields, farms and gardens or broken septic tanks.
Drinking the contaminated water could result in vomiting, diarrhea and other problems.
Boiling it will not remove the toxins, however, and residents have been advised to not even brush their teeth with it, though showers and baths are said to be permitted.
There are no reports yet of people becoming sick from drinking the contaminated water.
Additional reporting by AP
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...