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Gov. Kasich Declares State of Emergency over Toledo-area Drinking Water

Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 2:29 PM

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Officials in Northwest Ohio are advising residents not to drink or boil tap water after tests turned up evidence of chemicals linked to toxic algae in Lake Erie. Gov. John Kasich has declared a state of emergency in Lucas and Wood counties.

The city of Toledo early Saturday morning warned residents not to drink or boil the water, saying tests at the Collins Park Water Treatment plant revealed high levels of the toxin microcystin—. The city and county health department urged restaurants using tap water to close for the day.

The news prompted residents to stock up on bottled water from stores throughout Northwest Ohio. The Toledo Blade reports the National Guard will deliver clean water to people in the area, and that FEMA is “on standby” to respond if needed. Toledo News Now reports the city is distributing water Saturday evening.

Microcystin is linked to toxic blue-green algae that bloom across Lake Erie in the summertime, especially on the lake’s western end. Researchers say nutrient runoff from farmland is a major driver of algal blooms. 

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