As Lake Erie erupts in a toxic algae bloom, Ohio’s lakeside city Toledo is issuing alerts to residents not to drink city water, even if it has been boiled beforehand.
In the Toledo area, the great lake has seen a widespread case of blue-green algae which can produce the harmful microcystin toxin, a poison that won’t necessarily be destroyed even if the water is boiled first.
The toxin affects liver function. Symptoms can take anywhere from hours to days to present themselves.
The toxin has already been detected in the city’s water system, prompting both the city and the governor of the state to issue a state of emergency.
The water system has been shut down, affecting up to 500,000 residents.
Residents who get their water from South County Water in Bedford Township, Luna Pier, and Erie are potentially affected. Those with well water and those who get their water from the City of Monroe are not affected.
Already the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio National Guard are bringing bottled water into the affected areas.
Detroit, Michigan, officials are also monitoring their own system carefully to make sure that none of the blue-green algae makes its way to their water plants. Thus far there is no sign that it has, but other areas of southeast Michigan are also on the watch and considering or putting in place water bans.
The Toledo Free Press has updates to the story as new details emerge.
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