Drink Up, Toledo: Water Ban Lifted

Advisory over toxins is lifted this morning
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2014 3:37 AM CDT
Updated Aug 4, 2014 9:08 AM CDT
The City of Toledo water intake crib is surrounded by algae yesterday.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – Toledo's water is OK to drink again after new tests showed that a dangerous toxin was no longer detectable, reports the Toledo Blade. "Our water is safe," Mayor Michael Collins said at a morning news conference. Hours earlier, Collins had kept the ban in place, citing tests "too close for comfort." Up to 500,000 affected residents had been without city water since Saturday morning, when dangerous levels of the toxin microcystin turned up in tests at a treatment plant. The toxins were caused by an algal bloom in Lake Erie, which itself was probably caused by an overload of phosphorus from agricultural pollution, the Guardian finds.

Scientists warn that changes in farming practices and longer, hotter summers are causing the blooms to increase. "There's a systematic challenge we face here in the Great Lakes region that's much bigger than the current water crisis in Toledo," the president of the National Wildlife Federation tells the Blade. "If we don't get our arms around it, we will see property values decline, tourism decline, and wildlife impacted, too." Toledo residents, meanwhile, did heir best to help each other and find some humor in the situation, reports the New York Times. The city's manufacturing past gave it the nickname "Glass City," but some residents are now calling it "Empty Glass City."

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