It's hard to understand the current water situation within the Toledo, Ohio region. There seems to be a divide over the state of the drinking water.
Ohio Governor John Kasich had declared a state of emergency and even called upon the National Guard to aid in the distribution of food and water.
And yet despite a fairly recent declaration that it was uncertain how long the area's water would be undrinkable, Toledo mayor D. Michael Collins lifted the ban on Monday morning.
During a press conference, Collins stated that the water was safe enough to drink. However, even he admits that that the results of testing were “too close for comfort”.
In light of this, the mayor said that he made the decision to keep in place an advisory against drinking the water until additional tests were performed.
— Roop Raj (@rooprajfox2) August 4, 2014
In addition to the presence of algae blooms, there are other sources to blame for the water’s contamination, including farm fertilizer, broken and leaky septic tanks, and stormwater drains.
These sources are all blamed for the high levels of phosphorus detected in Lake Erie.
Environmental groups have long called on major cities surrounding the lake to put a stop to the excessive flow of phosphorus. It seems now that millions could be at risk because of a failure to heed the warning.
Although Collins says that the water is safe, members of the population remain skeptical. A problem of this magnitude doesn’t simply go away overnight.
More likely than not the testing came back that drinking the water would not prove fatal. However, Ohio residents will likely approach the issue of drinking the local water with extreme caution.
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) August 4, 2014
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s image of the part of the lake that Toledo gets its water from remains shocking.
It’s easy to see just how abnormal the water looks in images taken from space. It's even easy to make out the large algae bloom that’s currently occupying in the region's water supply.
Algal bloom trapped in West Lake Erie, Blizzardbill pic.twitter.com/nwfkL6Auyj
— WTVG 13abc (@13abc) August 4, 2014
One wonders what possible steps can be made to help restore the northwestern Ohio drinking water as citizens continue to take careful precautions.
Image via YouTube