Tagged In: Agriculture, Clean Water, Climate Change, Drinking water, Environmental Health, Great Lakes, Lake Erie, Land Use, Natural Resources, Northwest Ohio, Ohio, toledo water crisis, toxic algae, Water Pollution
Emily Bacha, Communications Director, August 2, 2019
COLUMBUS, OH — Five years have passed since toxins from a harmful algal bloom on Lake Erie contaminated the water for 400,000 Toledo residents, rendering it dangerous to cook with or to drink.
The following statement can be attributed in full or in part to Pete Bucher, Water Resources Director at the Ohio Environmental Council:
“It’s been five years since nearly half a million Ohioans in the Toledo area woke up to find their water had been contaminated by the harmful algal blooms plaguing Lake Erie and our waterways. While Toledoans should take great pride in their Great Lake, many to this day still avoid drinking Toledo tap water.
“Collectively, we have made some progress upgrading our water treatment infrastructure in the last five years but there is still much to be done to clean up Lake Erie at the source. Harmful algal blooms continue to put all Ohioans at risk by threatening the safety and affordability of our drinking water. And the most vulnerable among us are also the most harmed by unsafe water and access to affordable drinking water, including children, the elderly, communities of color, and those with lower incomes.
“In the face of climate change, the complexity of Ohio’s harmful algae problems become even more complex and urgent especially as record rainfalls increase the severity blooms by further driving phosphorus into Lake Erie. We must urgently continue to work together to reduce phosphorus inputs, to mitigate the harmful algal bloom threat, and to ensure clean, safe, and affordable drinking water for all Ohio communities.
“Environmental, agriculture, academic and regulatory leaders must continue to collaboratively develop pragmatic, science-based, strategic solutions that will protect our waterways for all Ohioans, regardless of where they live or how much money they have, and build trust in our drinking water infrastructure once again.”