0803-TOLEDO-WATER-PROBLEMS_full_600.jpgFor the second consecutive day, residents in an area of northwestern Ohio that included the state's fourth-largest city, Toledo, are being told that their tap water is not safe for cooking or drinking. The governor has declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard to help get water and food to the region. As of Sunday morning, there were no reports of anyone being sickened by tap water.
Toxins in the water have been linked to an algae bloom in Lake Erie, which is a primary source of drinking water for many Ohio communities. In recent decades, Lake Erie has seen large blooms of blue-green algae develop in its western basin. In 2011, the algae covered a record 1,930 square miles of Lake Erie – nearly 20 percent of the entire surface of the lake.
The blooms grow from an excess of phosphorus, which is a key ingredient in many fertilizers. Lake Erie is particularly prone to the blooms because rivers carry runoff from farmland into the shallow western basin of the lake.
Behind Ohio drinking-water ban, a Lake Erie mystery - CSMonitor.com