About 400,000 people living in northwestern Ohio have had to scramble to figure out how to live without tap water for drinking, cooking and bathing since Saturday, when officials warned residents about high levels of the toxin microcystin in Lake Erie’s water. Relief is here: Although earlier today the mayor of Toledo had extended a ban on that tap water for a third day, it’s just been announced that citizens can once again use the water safely.
Though Mayor Michael D. Collins cited concerns early this morning at a 3 a.m. press conference over tests of Lake Erie water for microcystin and extended the ban on drinking water, he told the media around 9:30 this morning that “our water is safe,” reports WTOL-TV.
According to a press release from the city, results now show the level of microcystin is no longer higher than the recommended drinking water warning of 1 microgram per liter, as set out by the World Health Organization.
The water ban began on Saturday when tests at a treatment plan showed high readings for microcystin, which is likely due to algae on Lake Erie. The warning affected more than 400,000 people in Toledo and surrounding areas, prompting Gov. John Kasich to declare a state of emergency.
Residents were told not to drink water, brush their teeth with it or wash with it, as microcystin can cause vomiting, cramps and rashes, leading to a rush on bottled water over the weekend. But try giving your kid a bath with bottled water — it ain’t easy.
A water toast to you, Toledoans.