Toledo: Don’t Drink the Water

Toledo: Don't Drink the Water

Residents of Toledo and environs, all 500,000 of them, have been warned not to drink or or wash with their tap water. The region’s water treatment plant found microcystin, a toxin that can cause nausea and liver damage. Boiling the water only concentrates the toxin. The source of the poison is a blue-green algae bloom on the west side of Lake Erie, thought to be caused by excessive phosphorous from agricultural runoff.


“Water crisis grips hundreds of thousands in Toledo area, state of emergency declared,” Tom Henry, Toledo Blade

“A toxic algae scare has left 500,000 people in Ohio without drinking water,” Brad Plumer , Vox

“7 Things You Need To Know About The Toxin That’s Poisoned Ohio’s Drinking Water,” Emily Atkin, Think Progress

“Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins: Information for Drinking Water Systems, EPA Office of Water


“Toledo Mayor Lifts Water Ban, Says ‘Our Water Is Safe,'” Eyder Peralta, NPR

“Water Safe to Drink in Ohio’s Fourth-Largest City,” John Seewer, Associated Press

“Behind Toledo’s Water Crisis, a Long-Troubled Lake Erie,” Michael Wines, New York Times

“Toledo’s water ban and the sensitivity of our drinking systems,” Mark Berman, Washington Post


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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