the republic logo

Toledo may as residents to limit water use to lower demand, boost treatment to reduce toxins

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

TOLEDO, Ohio — Consumers in Ohio's fourth-largest city may be asked to voluntarily conserve water next year to limit demand and help reduce contamination from toxins left behind by Lake Erie algae

Such toxins fouled water for 400,000 people in the Toledo area last month, leaving some without clean tap water for two days.

The water treatment commissioner talked about the planned conservation request during a panel discussion this week, The Blade newspaper (http://bit.ly/1lTkKrg) reported. Commissioner Tim Murphy said lowering demand would allow for longer water treatment.

"The water has more contact time in the treatment process. That's extremely important," he said.

He said Toledo hasn't finalized the program, which would be rolled out before the algae bloom season.

Toledo has spent millions of dollars in the past few years to get rid of the toxins in the water it draws from Lake Erie. But having residents use less water doesn't necessarily mean the city could reduce its chemical use for water treatment, which recently has cost about $20,000 a day, Murphy said.

The city is accelerating an upgrade of the water plant, which can handle up to 120 million gallons daily, and Mayor D. Michael Collins is pushing for state and federal environmental help to address the Lake Erie algae, which feeds on nutrients such as phosphorus from farm fertilizers, livestock manure and sewage overflows.

Suggested methods for addressing Toledo's water problems have included installing a new intake further out into the lake, but Collins said he doesn't think that is a solution because it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and would do nothing to address the source of the problem.

"Moving the intake further out in the lake is extremely expensive," the mayor said. "I think we have to fix the lake."

Environmental regulators from Ohio, Indiana and Michigan have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to press for a strategy for reducing the pollutants that help the algae thrive. They also seek clear federal standards on water quality, such as guidelines on what levels of algae in drinking water are considered safe.


Information from: The Blade, http://www.toledoblade.com/

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.