(TOLEDO, Ohio) — Toledo, Ohio Mayor D. Michael Collins says his city’s water is now safe. Officials lifted a water ban that had affected 400,000 people in Ohio and Michigan possibly due to toxins from algae.
Saying there is no simple answer for what could have set off the water emergency, Mayor Collins reminded citizens to play it safe.
“We now as a result of this must recognize that we sit with 20 percent of the fresh water supply of the entire planet at our doorstep,” he said. “And if we don’t — if we hesitate to respect that, then we are going to jeopardize this entire corridor of our United States with the future of our children.”
Toledo officials over the weekend had warned its residents, and others in the area, not to drink or boil water from the tap after samples from the city’s water treatment plant showed high toxin levels.
Governor John Kasich declared a state of emergency Saturday. As many as 500,000 people were affected.
In an urgent notice posted to the city’s Facebook account, officials said water from the tap should not be consumed or boiled, as boiling water could have made the situation worse. The water could be dangerous to both humans and pets, the notice said.
The “do not drink” notice applied to all customers of Toledo Water — including all of Lucas County, Ohio, and some parts of Michigan.
Early Monday morning, city officials had been awaiting test results from the Environmental Protection Agency to determine when the water may be safe enough to drink.
The toxins appeared to have been caused by a harmful algal bloom. Consuming the toxins could cause abnormal liver function, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, numbness or dizziness. Anyone who believed they might have been exposed was urged to seek medical attention.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Meera Senthilingam, CNN
Sara Weber, Deseret News
Brian Stelter, CNN