Toledo Talk

Do NOT Drink the Water in Toledo

From ABC:

The city of Toledo released an urgent notice to all Toledo water users overnight.

The city is asking anyone who receives water from Toledo to avoid drinking or boiling the water.

Chemists testing water at Toledo's Collins Park Water Treatment Plant tested for microcystin in excess of the recommended amount.

Here is more information provided by the city:
What should you do?

Do not drink the water. Alternative water should be used for drinking, making infant formula, making ice, brushing teeth and preparing food. Pets should not drink the water.

Do not boil the water.. Boiling the water will not destroy the toxins. It will increase the concentration of the toxins.

Consuming water containing algal toxins may result in abnormal liver function, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, numbness or dizziness. Seek medical attention if you feel you have been exposed to algal toxins and are having adverse health effects. Skin contact with contaminated water can cause irritation or rashes. Contact a veterinarian immediately if pets or livestock show signs of illness.

What happened? What is being done?

Lake Erie, which is a source of drinking water for the Toledo water system may have been impacted by a harmful algal bloom (HAB). These organisms are capable of producing a number of toxins that may pose a risk to human and animal health. HABs occur when excess nitrogen and phosphorus are present in lakes and streams. Such nutrients can come from runoff of over-fertilized fields and lawns, from malfunctioning septic systems and from livestock pens.

Additional monitoring is being conducted and we will let you know when the situation has been resolved or if additional precautions should be taken. The water system is running additional tests to verify the severity of the microcystin levels in our water supply.

Please stay tuned to 13abc for more information and share this information with friends, family or neighbors that may not have been informed through this media release. A phone number for the public to call will be included in a future release.

http://www.13abc.com/story/26178497/urgent-message-from-city-toledoans-asked-not-to-drink-or-boil-water

created by taliesin52 on Aug 02, 2014 at 01:29:39 am     Health     Comments: 340

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justread posted at 09:04:44 PM on Aug 04, 2014:

Must have sounded worse than it was meant. :)

I think for folks who have never been out there, or seen it... clarification that it isn't actually in the bay, (which is important for currents especially), is worthwhile. I'm sorry that I sounded like you had never eaten ice cream near the Bono curve and stuff.

I have no more quibbles. That was my one quibble.

Peace out, brother. I am probably testy after three days of the water crisis shenanigans.

posted by historymike on Aug 04, 2014 at 08:11:25 pm     #  

justread posted at 08:21:26 PM on Aug 04, 2014:

"You know the Maumee Bay, right? The place where Toledo's water intake is located."

I know Maumee Bay very well. Maybe you should get out there sometime.

The point in the lake off of Reno Beach and out from Cooley Canal launch ramp that has the intake crib is about 10 miles to the east of Toledo. The intake crib is several miles east of the eastern most boundary of Maumee Bay, Little Cedar Point. In fact, it is hidden from view until you are nearly clear of the bay altogether and north of the shoreline on the east.

The point in the lake off of Reno Beach and out from Cooley Canal

It's actually a beeline from the mouths of Wolf & Cedar creeks, at Anchor Point; or in actuality, from the pump station at the end of Yondota road (Oregon's station is just to the east, across Wolf Creek from Anchor Point, unlike Toledo, their crib is submerged, and along the same axis, but not as far out).

Cooley is further to the east, and as the crow flies, would represent a backtrack from the intake building to the Toledo facilities. Not to be confused with Ward's canal, which feeds Cooley and can be seen along route 2, just this side of the Bono curve.

posted by Sohio on Aug 04, 2014 at 08:17:09 pm     #  

Mon, Aug 4, 2014 tweets by Ryan Wichman.

7:35 p.m.

Report Info: Tap Water tests over the weekend done by the US EPA found the toxin level to be <.32ppb, drinkable limit is 1ppb (part/billion)

9:01 p.m.

Report Info: It was the city of Toledo that initially looked into a 'no drink advisory' Saturday AM, OH EPA confirmed/recommended.


Excerpts from a Mon, Aug 4, 2014 Vox.com story titled Why toxic algae blooms are taking over Lake Erie - again

Lake Erie had a massive problem with algae blooms in the 1960s and 1970s, with the lake becoming nearly unusable. Decomposing green algae kept washing up on beaches and had to be removed by bulldozers. Blue-green algae was tainting the water supplies of several cities.

So, starting in 1972, the United States and Canada began taking drastic action. The region spent $8 billion upgrading sewage systems around the region, banned certain types of phosphorus-heavy laundry detergents, and pushed to modernize farming practices so as to prevent so much soil and stormwater runoff.

Recently, however, the blooms have been making a comeback. In 1995, blue-green algae (Microcystis aeruginosa) began flaring up in the western part of Lake Erie.

These new blooms are different from the blooms of old: more localized along the shoreline, and with a higher concentration of cyanobacteria (the blue-green algae).

There does seem to be an increase in agricultural runoff of phosphorus — particularly dissolved reactive phosphorus into the Maumee River watershed, which feeds into Lake Erie. That could help feed the algae blooms.

Meanwhile, the Ohio task force report noted that animal feeding operations in the Lake Erie region have become far bigger and denser over the years — with more animals packed into spaces. Cattle and pig manure is another significant source of phosphorus.

Urban runoff isn't nearly as big a factor as farming — especially since 82 percent of the land around the Maumee River is devoted to agriculture. But it's one possible factor.

posted by jr on Aug 04, 2014 at 10:55:10 pm     #  

Sohio posted at 09:17:09 PM on Aug 04, 2014:
justread posted at 08:21:26 PM on Aug 04, 2014:

"You know the Maumee Bay, right? The place where Toledo's water intake is located."

I know Maumee Bay very well. Maybe you should get out there sometime.

The point in the lake off of Reno Beach and out from Cooley Canal launch ramp that has the intake crib is about 10 miles to the east of Toledo. The intake crib is several miles east of the eastern most boundary of Maumee Bay, Little Cedar Point. In fact, it is hidden from view until you are nearly clear of the bay altogether and north of the shoreline on the east.

The point in the lake off of Reno Beach and out from Cooley Canal

It's actually a beeline from the mouths of Wolf & Cedar creeks, at Anchor Point; or in actuality, from the pump station at the end of Yondota road (Oregon's station is just to the east, across Wolf Creek from Anchor Point, unlike Toledo, their crib is submerged, and along the same axis, but not as far out).

Cooley is further to the east, and as the crow flies, would represent a backtrack from the intake building to the Toledo facilities. Not to be confused with Ward's canal, which feeds Cooley and can be seen along route 2, just this side of the Bono curve.

justread...nevermind, you were correct.

Just looking at some maps. I forgot they moved the Yacht Club. Growing up, we knew the canals by reversed names. Technically, you are correct...Anchor Point is on Cooley Canal.

I stand corrected. I withdraw the comment.

posted by Sohio on Aug 05, 2014 at 06:05:07 am     #  

Heck, I think you were also correct.

Close enough that a crow, piloting a Chris Craft from Bayview around the sand bars north of little cedar point would easily find the crib. :)

posted by justread on Aug 05, 2014 at 06:23:26 am     #  

Would you clowns stop foolin' around and just post the lat-long and end all the anxiety.

posted by Mariner on Aug 05, 2014 at 06:26:37 am     #  

Time magazine:
"The water intake for Toledo’s water supply is located right in the middle of the Maumee Bay where the algae bloom moved to."

I stand corrected. Although the last time I was out, it was right where it had always been, offshore of Reno Beach and several miles EAST of the bay, around the horn of little cedar point.

Who moved the dam intake?!?!?

posted by justread on Aug 05, 2014 at 10:47:56 am     #  

justread posted at 11:47:56 AM on Aug 05, 2014:

Time magazine:
"The water intake for Toledo’s water supply is located right in the middle of the Maumee Bay where the algae bloom moved to."

I stand corrected. Although the last time I was out, it was right where it had always been, offshore of Reno Beach and several miles EAST of the bay, around the horn of little cedar point.

Who moved the dam intake?!?!?

You are correct and Time is wrong, justread - the Toledo intake is at least a mile to the east of Maumee Bay proper. Here is a map I found online:

water intakes

posted by historymike on Aug 05, 2014 at 11:22:17 am     #  

Also, the Toledo water intake was once bombed. A Navy pilot on a training mission once dropped 5-pound bombs ( sans explosive charges) on the water intake crib, according to the September 5, 1954 Toledo Blade:

water intake bombed

posted by historymike on Aug 05, 2014 at 11:33:37 am     #   1 person liked this

There you go again, historymike...educating us about history... ;)

posted by valbee on Aug 05, 2014 at 11:36:26 am     #  

I believe it's three miles out, then gets pumped to a station in Jerusalem Township. I think that might actually be a Blade map.

posted by Nolan_Rosenkrans on Aug 05, 2014 at 11:41:39 am     #  

Nolan_Rosenkrans posted at 12:41:39 PM on Aug 05, 2014:

I believe it's three miles out, then gets pumped to a station in Jerusalem Township. I think that might actually be a Blade map.

Yes, the intake is three miles out. However it doesn't get pumped from the intake to low service. It's actually gravity fed. Then the water is pumped 9 miles from low service to the treatment facility.

posted by justphillips on Aug 05, 2014 at 11:55:59 am     #  

just wild ass speculation......mostly just curiosity......but could "de-icing"
agents (ie road salt, brine, etc) lead to increased algae levels?

posted by BulldogBuckeye on Aug 05, 2014 at 12:03:42 pm     #  

just wild ass speculation......mostly just curiosity......but could "de-icing"
agents (ie road salt, brine, etc) lead to increased algae levels?

posted by BulldogBuckeye on Aug 05, 2014 at 12:03:42 pm     #  

just wild ass speculation......mostly just curiosity......but could "de-icing"
agents (ie road salt, brine, etc) lead to increased algae levels?

posted by BulldogBuckeye on Aug 05, 2014 at 12:03:52 pm     #  

justphillips posted at 12:55:59 PM on Aug 05, 2014:
Nolan_Rosenkrans posted at 12:41:39 PM on Aug 05, 2014:

I believe it's three miles out, then gets pumped to a station in Jerusalem Township. I think that might actually be a Blade map.

Yes, the intake is three miles out. However it doesn't get pumped from the intake to low service. It's actually gravity fed. Then the water is pumped 9 miles from low service to the treatment facility.

You're right, sorry.

posted by Nolan_Rosenkrans on Aug 05, 2014 at 12:04:18 pm     #  

Potassium permanganate is currently the only chemical that is added out at the intake crib. That chemical is pumped from low service to the intake crib, this helps control the zebra muscles from getting in and clogging any lines. From there carbon is added at low service before being pumped out to the treatment facility. The remaining chemicals are added at the treatment facility.

I have been in the intake crib and would have loved to have seen it when it was actually occupied.

posted by justphillips on Aug 05, 2014 at 12:07:34 pm     #  

It was worse in the 1950s. Lake Erie Sea Monster snatches small child, and it's not the main story.


Time magazine:
"The water intake for Toledo’s water supply is located right in the middle of the Maumee Bay where the algae bloom moved to."

Maybe Time confused the location of Toledo's water intake with the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse, although the lighthouse is probably considered beyond Maumee Bay.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledo_Harbor_Light

The lighthouse is built on a 20-foot-deep (6 m) stone crib, 8.4 miles (13.5 km) from the mouth of the Maumee River, marking the entrance to the Toledo harbor. It is also approximately 7 miles (11 km) north of Maumee Bay State Park.

41°45'42.0"N
83°19'42.0"W


posted by jr on Aug 05, 2014 at 01:01:57 pm     #  

Finally! Some lat-long I can work with. I was affeared I wasn't going to get back home.

posted by Mariner on Aug 05, 2014 at 01:22:50 pm     #  

This is pretty cool...

https://munchies.vice.com/articles/what-its-like-to-run-a-coffee-shop-during-a-water-ban/

posted by toledolen_ on Aug 05, 2014 at 01:23:19 pm     #  

I love how calm the water is in the Lighthouse picture. Nice pic.

posted by Molsonator on Aug 05, 2014 at 02:15:18 pm     #  

Chlorine breaks it down. Hmmm. They must not have trusted the unwashed masses with that information during the crisis.

"Samples must have chemicals added to neutralize chlorine, so that chlorine is not breaking down any microcystin that might be in each sample before it reaches the lab."

Read more but mostly just stuff you've already read in other articles at http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2014/08/05/Toledo-seeks-return-to-normalcy-after-do-not-drink-water-advisory-lifted.html#zDxJxxvp3blD23I3.99

posted by justread on Aug 05, 2014 at 02:43:31 pm     #  

BulldogBuckeye posted at 01:03:42 PM on Aug 05, 2014:

just wild ass speculation......mostly just curiosity......but could "de-icing"
agents (ie road salt, brine, etc) lead to increased algae levels?

I don't think so...doesn't salt kill plant life?

posted by Sohio on Aug 05, 2014 at 03:05:34 pm     #  

justread posted at 11:47:56 AM on Aug 05, 2014:

Time magazine:
"The water intake for Toledo’s water supply is located right in the middle of the Maumee Bay where the algae bloom moved to."

I stand corrected. Although the last time I was out, it was right where it had always been, offshore of Reno Beach and several miles EAST of the bay, around the horn of little cedar point.

Who moved the dam intake?!?!?

It's fuzzy, but if you look on google maps, you can see it...it's a little white speck.

Cutty Sark?

posted by Sohio on Aug 05, 2014 at 03:08:43 pm     #  

Anyone notice the incredible amount of chlorine in the water the last couple of days?

I thought I was imagining it, but after showering this evening, my eye have that - just got out of the YMCA pool feeling.

posted by SensorG on Aug 14, 2014 at 10:39:55 pm     #  

SensorG posted at 11:39:55 PM on Aug 14, 2014:

Anyone notice the incredible amount of chlorine in the water the last couple of days?

I thought I was imagining it, but after showering this evening, my eye have that - just got out of the YMCA pool feeling.

At the Glass City Mashers meeting on Thursday night, I was told that the chlorine level was increased in Toledo water recently. The person said that the odor is very noticeable.

I was surprised to hear that because I had not observed a change. I checked our water when I got home, and it still smelled and tasted like it has in the past. No difference to me.

But others have noticed the dramatic chlorine increase. For some reason, it's not in our water yet.

posted by jr on Aug 14, 2014 at 11:16:33 pm     #  

I wonder if it is stronger closer to the plant.

I assume chlorine is bad for brewing.

posted by justread on Aug 15, 2014 at 05:55:54 am     #  

justread posted at 06:55:54 AM on Aug 15, 2014:

I wonder if it is stronger closer to the plant.

I assume chlorine is bad for brewing.

Yep. Rule number one: Filter out the chlorine.

Still no noticeable chlorine increase with our water. Can they control the chlorine per location?

posted by jr on Aug 15, 2014 at 06:30:56 am     #  

jr posted at 12:16:33 AM on Aug 15, 2014:
SensorG posted at 11:39:55 PM on Aug 14, 2014:

Anyone notice the incredible amount of chlorine in the water the last couple of days?

I thought I was imagining it, but after showering this evening, my eye have that - just got out of the YMCA pool feeling.

At the Glass City Mashers meeting on Thursday night, I was told that the chlorine level was increased in Toledo water recently. The person said that the odor is very noticeable.

I was surprised to hear that because I had not observed a change. I checked our water when I got home, and it still smelled and tasted like it has in the past. No difference to me.

But others have noticed the dramatic chlorine increase. For some reason, it's not in our water yet.

My wife, whose sense of smell approaches the level of a superhuman ability, noticed a decidedly strong chlorine odor soon after the water supply was declared safe again for consumption. This was before the news of increased chlorine levels was announced, so I doubt this perception was psychosomatic.

I, however, have a lousy sense of smell, and Toledo water smells the same to me.

posted by historymike on Aug 15, 2014 at 07:49:48 am     #  

Most definitely an increase in the chlorine level - the tap water smells like my pool. But, I'm ok with that. I'll gladly accept higher chlorine levels if it keeps the water flowing.

We have multiple levels of filtration for our drinking and cooking water.

posted by Foodie on Aug 15, 2014 at 08:28:37 am     #  

Have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works!

posted by Johio83 on Aug 15, 2014 at 08:40:56 am     #  

There is an article in the Detroit News today, warning of the massive amount of storm and sewer run-off coming our way due to the torrential rains the other day. It says this is going to feed the algae in Lake Erie like a Golden Corral buffet

posted by Hoops on Aug 15, 2014 at 09:13:14 am     #  

Coming our way? We dumped an impressive amount inside our own city limits.

posted by justread on Aug 15, 2014 at 09:32:30 am     #  

If you use Twitter, @ecowriterohio is live tweeting Lake Erie Conference.

posted by paulhem on Aug 15, 2014 at 09:39:18 am     #  

Detroit is constantly dumping, the only thing that has changed is that they are telling us.

posted by nana on Aug 15, 2014 at 10:45:22 am     #   1 person liked this

Breaking News from The Blade - microcystin levels elevated, brought down with chemicals.

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2014/08/16/Microcystin-levels-elevated-at-Collins-Park-plant.html

posted by MsUnderstood on Aug 16, 2014 at 07:36:22 pm     #  

The city posted the info to its Facebook page at 5:50 p.m.

https://www.facebook.com/cityoftoledo/posts/746455255418111

posted by jr on Aug 16, 2014 at 08:24:32 pm     #  

jesus

posted by upso on Aug 16, 2014 at 10:11:23 pm     #  

So, like a couple of weeks ago... but without the panic and over-reaction. Although I honestly wondered if it was Bob Reinbolt heading to Collins Park when I heard a siren in the middle of the night.

posted by justread on Aug 17, 2014 at 05:31:58 am     #  

Those were two sets of safety forces. One headed to Krogers and the other to Wendy's.

posted by Mariner on Aug 17, 2014 at 06:42:57 am     #  

Any of you who have used chlorine commercially realize the detrimental effect on metal. Next drama: pipes and valves splittin' and a poppin'.

posted by Mariner on Aug 17, 2014 at 06:50:47 am     #  

"Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to rock the boat."

posted by Mariner on Aug 17, 2014 at 06:55:26 am     #   1 person liked this

The time to act is upon us. We can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

posted by madjack on Aug 17, 2014 at 06:56:02 am     #   1 person liked this

Amen. Time to grab the cowboy hat and ride that nuke straight down. I just KNEW it was all a conspiracy.

posted by Mariner on Aug 17, 2014 at 07:46:05 am     #  

posted by MIJeff on Aug 17, 2014 at 11:14:15 am     #  

Mariner posted at 08:46:05 AM on Aug 17, 2014:

Amen. Time to grab the cowboy hat and ride that nuke straight down. I just KNEW it was all a conspiracy.

Otherwise how could they have known to name it "Collins" park 5 years before D. Michael was born?

posted by justread on Aug 17, 2014 at 12:13:39 pm     #  

I think he needs to get out there an mow the lawn and plant some flowers in his park hehehe

posted by MIJeff on Aug 17, 2014 at 12:48:16 pm     #  

I have not sensed any chlorine in the water, though I have at times in previous years. Disinfectant chlorine in treating water carries its own risk. A byproduct of chlorine in treating drinking water is Trihalomethanes, which causes all kinds of health problems over time, including cancer.

posted by renegade on Aug 17, 2014 at 02:22:00 pm     #  

Chlorine in water will remove itself if left open to air for a while, or by using a bubbler it will leave even faster.

posted by MIJeff on Aug 17, 2014 at 02:41:13 pm     #  

Info on how Minnesota deals with Microcystin-LR in their drinking water supply: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/risk/guidance/gw/mclrinfo.pdf

Please note:

posted by upso on Aug 18, 2014 at 11:11:28 am     #   3 people liked this

upso posted at 12:11:28 PM on Aug 18, 2014:

Info on how Minnesota deals with Microcystin-LR in their drinking water supply: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/risk/guidance/gw/mclrinfo.pdf

Please note:

From the same source:

"This guidance is lower than current laboratory detection limits."

Am I understanding this correctly? Don't drink it if it is more than .04 ppb, but we don't have a test that will give us that low of a reading.

posted by MsArcher on Aug 18, 2014 at 02:02:30 pm     #  

Wag the Dog MrsArcher.

posted by Mariner on Aug 18, 2014 at 04:22:34 pm     #  

You should probably hold off washing the Dog, however.

We need you to conserve.

Although it seems that with their mixing equipment intact and some Alum in stock (two things we couldn't say not long ago) they can treat the water.
I mean, the freaking FALSE POSITIVE not withstanding....
Would have been better if they said "Go back to not thinking about it. We fixed the mixing thingy and ordered the alum we ran out of. We'll be more careful."

posted by justread on Aug 18, 2014 at 04:45:56 pm     #   2 people liked this

omg, how refreshing that would be! :)

posted by nana on Aug 18, 2014 at 05:26:39 pm     #  

Just as I suspected... incompetence...

An expert...

"Joseph A. Cotruvo, who has degrees from the University of Toledo and Ohio State University, was the first director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water standards division. He is a member of the World Health Organization’s drinking water guidelines committee."

He wrote:

"Was there a significant difference in risk before and after the no-drink notice? Was the directive necessary to protect public health? Or was it an excessively conservative choice? The answers to these questions are, respectively, no, no, and yes."

http://www.toledoblade.com/Opinion/2015/03/08/Toledo-s-don-t-drink-the-water-alarm-went-too-far.html

His LinkedIn profile

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/joseph-cotruvo/4/675/572

posted by paulhem on Mar 10, 2015 at 05:33:57 pm     #  

How far, long and expensive was the search for this Cotruvo and his commentary by the Blade?

posted by toledolen_ on Mar 10, 2015 at 08:37:59 pm     #  

toledolen_ posted at 09:37:59 PM on Mar 10, 2015:

How far, long and expensive was the search for this Cotruvo and his commentary by the Blade?

Doug Haynam, a local environmental attorney and Sylvania City Council member was out within days (facebook posts starting August 4, and on Fred on WSPD on August 7) saying the same thing Cotruvo is saying in this column.

Why it took so long for the Blade to publish this I have no idea, but this is not news - Toledo and the Ohio EPA mismanaged that whole fiasco. The question is why?

posted by MsArcher on Mar 10, 2015 at 08:51:28 pm     #   3 people liked this

First. This was an OpEd, not a column... Second, for all I know, he contacted The Blade, not vice versa.

Second, this is my opinion, not The Blade's. There are other editorials that advocate chemical and manure runoff standards be enforced.

Let's see... "A local environmental activist" vs. the first director of the EPA's drinking water standards division and current member of the WHO's drinking water advisory committee? Credibility? C'mon

And many of us were questioning this http://toledotalk.com/cgi-bin/tt.pl/article/180830#182351, not just a Sylvania councilman.

posted by paulhem on Mar 10, 2015 at 09:59:47 pm     #  

"A local environmental activist"

Haynam is hardly an environmental activist; he is a well-known environmental LAWYER from a national law firm that is based in Toledo. It's interesting that you put that in quotes, when it is not at all what I said.

_And many of us were questioning this http://toledotalk.com/cgi-bin/tt.pl/article/180830#182351, not just a Sylvania councilman_

In the thread you are referencing, the WHO standards weren't brought up until August 22; Haynam started mentioning them August 4.

All I'm saying is that what Cotruvo is saying is not news; the WHO standards that he references were in the local discussion eight months ago, brought out by Haynam in his postings and WSPD interview. (Ah, maybe there is the reason why Haynam was ignored by the Blade).

And eight months later? After Collins' trip to DC and state action that is nothing more than lip-service to dealing with the issue of Lake Erie algae blooms? Hmmm, maybe I've stumbled on to the next reason why. Collins is gone; no reason we (the Blade) can't now, finally, point out how his administration screwed up the water crisis.

posted by MsArcher on Mar 11, 2015 at 07:35:29 am     #   3 people liked this

his administration screwed up the water crisis

I thought that was a given.

posted by Anniecski on Mar 11, 2015 at 08:10:10 am     #   9 people liked this

"A local environmental activist"

I do apologize for mistaking the lawyer for an environmental activist. It was an honest mistake, or some brain freeze on my part.

Ah, maybe there is the reason why Haynam was ignored by the Blade

Haynam was not "ignored by The Blade." There were plenty of solid evidence that The Blade published from government public records request. Here is a story from 8/7/2014 that came from such a request.

August 7, 2014

Craig W. Butler, director, Ohio EPA.:

"'I cannot underscore boldly enough the precarious condition of Toledo’s drinking water system and the imminent vulnerability to failure,' Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Craig W. Butler wrote in a June 9 letter to Mr. Collins, a copy of which was obtained by The Blade on Thursday through a public records request along with a stack of other documents and copies of emails that show the agency had severe reservations about the plant for months leading up to the crisis."

http://www.toledoblade.com/Politics/2014/08/07/Ohio-EPA-warned-Toledo-of-imminent-vulnerability-1.html

The Blade did not necessarily ignore anyone. The Blade's very early story about the water crisis came from solid evidence, not speculation from an expert to inform me.

Frankly, I like Fred's show - and Fred for that matter. The whole crew there make a good show.

posted by paulhem on Mar 11, 2015 at 11:29:06 am     #  

IMO, you missed a major point of the 8/7/14 article:

most of the concerns are related to aging infrastructure, chemical storage, and the general condition of equipment used for normal operations, especially longstanding concerns about the need to upgrade low-service pumps along the Oregon shoreline, which are used to power raw lake water from the city’s intake crib in western Lake Erie to the treatment plant.

The Blade did not focus or even comment on the issue that there should NOT have been a water emergency declared at all in their 8/7/14 article, based on WHO standards. Did the Blade discuss it at a later date? I don't remember, but I'm betting not if they waited 8 months to pull out an expert who finally said what a lot of people were saying all along.

posted by MsArcher on Mar 11, 2015 at 12:39:59 pm     #  

Did Cotruvo make any public comment at all in August when the crisis was happening, or is this the first time we're hearing from him? I just find it odd that with his local ties, he wouldn't have spoken up sooner.

posted by dell_diva on Mar 11, 2015 at 01:32:56 pm     #  

most of the concerns
Not all...

I didn't miss anything. The Blade did an excellent job covering the crisis. You want coverage that bolsters your opinion.

I was happy that Cotruvo decided to weigh in at all.

As you know, Mrs. Archer, my opinion matches yours. However, I believe that The Blade did the hard investigating work. It's easy to interview someone for their opinion.

posted by paulhem on Mar 11, 2015 at 10:53:18 pm     #  

How about some investigative journalism into Yvonne Harper?

posted by MIJeff on Mar 11, 2015 at 11:14:54 pm     #  

You want coverage that bolsters your opinion.

If a fair and balanced attempt at the truth is not an option, I'll settle for coverage that bolsters someone else's opinion.

posted by justread on Mar 12, 2015 at 04:51:11 am     #  

;) LOL

posted by paulhem on Mar 12, 2015 at 12:29:02 pm     #  

The media went with Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler on a tour of the Toledo and Oregon wastewater treatment plants just about a week before the water crisis. A reporter from The Blade who apparently went on the tour stated in an article that appeared in The Blade on July 24, 2014 that "tests showed Oregon’s raw water, which comes from western Lake Erie, had a small but detectable level of microcystin, the toxin produced by microcystis algae."

Then the article stated the following: "Even at higher levels, water plants in Oregon and Toledo — two of the most sophisticated in the region — have many safeguards in place to neutralize the toxin and remove it before it can get into the public water supply, officials said."

A week later, the water crisis hits. I was expecting The Blade to do a followup after officials made those comments. I never saw it. I think those officials who made those comments should have been held accountable by the media. To say just before the water ban that the Toledo and Oregon water plants have "many safeguards in place to neutralize the toxin and remove it before it can get into the public water supply," was obviously incorrect.

posted by gemini on Mar 13, 2015 at 02:00:50 pm     #  

The story only indicates that the Oregon plant manager was interviewed. He seemed to have his "ducks in a row." Mr. Butler, the Ohio EPA chief, mentioned in the previous story link, had reportedly been thinking of EPA takeover of Toledo water plant was; state director cites slow response to water problems

I can't see where there was more to report regarding the people mentioned in the story that you mentioned?

posted by paulhem on Mar 13, 2015 at 02:54:50 pm     #  

The more that I look at The Blade's coverage, the better I like it. The Blade is one of the very few newspapers who employ an environmental journalist. http://www.sej.org/thomas-henry

posted by paulhem on Mar 13, 2015 at 02:58:08 pm     #  

paulhem posted at 03:58:08 PM on Mar 13, 2015:

The more that I look at The Blade's coverage, the better I like it. The Blade is one of the very few newspapers who employ an environmental journalist. http://www.sej.org/thomas-henry

Your job is to pimp the paper you work for, you're opinion of it seems suspect.

posted by MIJeff on Mar 13, 2015 at 04:53:17 pm     #  

Your job is to pimp the paper you work for, you're opinion of it seems suspect.

That's why I include links. Don't have to take my word for it.

http://goo.gl/s5IfGU

posted by paulhem on Mar 13, 2015 at 06:22:33 pm     #  

Paul's opinion of the blade is always suspect, but there was nothing suspect about the blade coverage of the various elements of the water "crisis."
I can't believe it has become such a distraction from the topic.

posted by justread on Mar 13, 2015 at 06:27:30 pm     #  

Is my fedora pulled too far over my eyes? I do wear hoodies too.

posted by paulhem on Mar 13, 2015 at 06:35:35 pm     #  

Paul, I assumed the story, when it said "Even at higher levels, water plants in Oregon and Toledo — two of the most sophisticated in the region — have many safeguards in place to neutralize the toxin and remove it before it can get into the public water supply, officials said," was referring to EPA "officials." Perhaps it was Toledo and Oregon officials that stated that. In any event, If anyone in Toledo said that just one week before the water crisis, they were wrong. That really jumped out at me when I first read it and then the tap water ban was implemented shortly afterwards.

posted by gemini on Mar 14, 2015 at 04:52:25 pm     #  

They were wrong, and overestimated the state of readiness of the plant.
Ironically, they also overestimated the state of the "crisis" the following week.

Like when "officials" say commercial aviation is safe and then a plane crashes. If they say it in The Blade a week before a crash, is The Blade liable to issue a retraction?

"Officials" overstate the readiness, fitness, preparedness, and safety of things every day. And the media distributes it. Blaming the media for the ignorance and arrogance of "officials" seems like a misdirection.

Let's recap:
-City defers maintenance of an old plant, kicking the expense down the road.
-Plant deteriorates.
-Algal blooms, not a new thing, pop up again in 2014
-A flocculator breaks, and they run out of alum
-A reading is high, maybe, or maybe it was never high
-In the middle of the night, on facebook, the PIO declares a State of Henny Penny. Run for your lives. Don't TOUCH the water.
-For three days, people do and say unnecessary things
-The city of Toledo blames the lake, our most important natural resource
-In hindsight, the entire "crisis" was overblown. From the "don't touch" to Bob Reinbolt flying through the city in an SUV, apparently to "save" someone from the non-poisonous, poison water.
-The water was safe, nobody got sick.
-If we saved just one life, the permanent scar on our image is worth it. Toledo, the poison water capital of the world.

Hey, as long as the "officials" got to play emergency and flash those badges. Their legacy will always be the wrong reaction. Thank God the idiots on the street who spent several hours that Saturday morning acting like fools calmed down as the city backed off of the ridiculous and indefensible do not touch order.

I don't think Mike Bell or anyone on his team would have caused a mass panic based on guesses, incorrect assumptions, ignorance, and fear. And STILL nobody would have gotten sick, because you see, even with a broken flocculator and insufficient alum, the water in the system and in our homes was never unsafe.

posted by justread on Mar 15, 2015 at 06:16:14 am     #   8 people liked this

Instead of a hoodie Paul's wardrobe should be sackcloth and ashes. He will not understand that until he is far remote from the payroll.

posted by Mariner on Mar 15, 2015 at 06:55:45 am     #  

Gemini:

They were wrong, and overestimated the state of readiness of the plant.
Ironically, they also overestimated the state of the "crisis" the following week.

Exactly... They were ALL wrong and if you look through the stories Tom Henry interviewed then all, including the chemists at the plants, including Oregon.

However, if you feel that The Blade could have done more, then we will have to agree to disagree.

Any of us who have been around for awhile and paid attention knows that it wasn't just one administration that is to blame for the water plant personnel, condition of the plant, nor the poor record keeping.

During the crisis the mayor had personnel who had been in their jobs before he got the job. Those water plant employees were responsible for advising the mayor.

As a Marine, and like every military leader, I am sure Mayor Collins takes responsibility for everything that happened or failed to happen during this crisis.

Show more respect for the man and his family. He died in the line of duty as a sitting mayor. Nitpicking, by speculating about whether another politician who have done better is a dishonor to the anonymity this board provides.

posted by paulhem on Mar 15, 2015 at 02:00:47 pm     #  

who = would

posted by paulhem on Mar 15, 2015 at 02:02:14 pm     #  

How can you compare Collins to a military leader? How can you speak for him and say that he took responsibility for everything that happened during that crisis?

Show more respect? Respect is one thing. Being respectful of the deceased is another. Building up someone after they passed by speculating how they felt or what they may or may not have done isn't showing respect. It's story telling.

Just because someone puts on a uniform doesn't make them a great human being or even a decent human being. I've known some real jerks and bad people who have worn uniforms. Military, police, and fire.

I find it funny when people try and defend career politicians. I have yet to see a career politician separate "what's best for the people" from the "what's best for my career". Somewhere along the career, that line gets really, really blurry to them.

posted by hockeyfan on Mar 15, 2015 at 02:58:58 pm     #   1 person liked this

He died in the line of duty as a sitting mayor.

Died in the line of duty?!? Really?

No disrespect to his family; I've met his wife, had professional dealings with the mayor when he was on council; had personal disagreement with his style and philosophy, but its still unfortunate when anyone dies like he does.

With that sad, elevating how DMC died to the equivalent of losing a police officer, fire fighter, or soldier 'in the line of duty' ... I'm at a loss for words.

posted by MsArcher on Mar 15, 2015 at 04:03:53 pm     #   7 people liked this

Paul check the record. All the top city personnel were out of town when this struck with an attempt to deal with a "crisis," by long distance and remote control until they could scramble back. In the short term interim the communications director called the decision in the early morning hours to advise do not consume. The event was not engineered; the subsequent management is what is being called into question. Is an individual with a safety background the best to handle such a situation, or an individual with a more well rounded perspective? Close the beaches on a holiday week-end because maybe there's a shark out there? Tough call.

posted by Mariner on Mar 15, 2015 at 04:08:10 pm     #  

I find it funny when people try and defend career politicians.

No one is defending. I am pointing out craven and dishonorable behavior by cowards hiding behind anonymity.

hockeyfan:

Collins was a member of an elite military group. I respect these people because they made it through physical and psychological screening that most people can't imagine, not to mention successfully complete. Therefore, I readily trust and am confident in the ability of someone who served honorably in the military, until proven otherwise. Others, without that accomplishment, would they have to do more to prove themselves.

"Mrs Archer," If you want credibility, then don't hide behind a screen name. Name-dropping is rediculous when, for all we know, you are a junior high school student.

posted by paulhem on Mar 15, 2015 at 06:24:28 pm     #  

Elite military group? What part of the marines do you think he was in? I will give anyone who serves in any branch of the military, even coast guard the benefit of the doubt when it concerns what is best for the people unless they prove otherwise. Its a shame he died while in office, shame anyone dies actually, but it doesn't elevate anyone to sainthood. I suggest we drop talking about him other than established facts, he isn't here to defend or speak for himself and any talk of what he thought or intended is pure speculation and should be left out of any discussion here.

As far as your hangup on anonymity, with the idiots on the internet today you can never tell how crazy someone is who might disagree with you, anonymity gives anyone the freedom to completely express their opinion without regard to threats of physical retaliation. Maybe you condone strong arm tactics to silence any voice not expressly coinciding with yours, but I prefer anyone to be able to express themselves without fear of reprisals.

posted by MIJeff on Mar 15, 2015 at 06:40:47 pm     #   5 people liked this

I would like to know more about this "elite" military group. As a veteran, I do automatically give some level of respect to fellow veterans, but as I've learned first hand, labeling them as heroes, true leaders, etc. shouldn't be assumed. Since 9/11 it's become somewhat vogue to label military, police and fireman as heroes. To assume that they have some kind of superior morality and are above others simply because they put on a uniform. There are some really great people wearing uniforms, but let's not automatically elevate them to such a high level because their clothes are different. And besides, you are comparing a military position/responsibility with a politician position/responsibility. In my book, the two don't even come close.

posted by hockeyfan on Mar 15, 2015 at 07:44:15 pm     #   4 people liked this

My point has been and continues to be that the mayor died in the line-of-duty. Therefore, he deserves the respect as the leader of all the uniformed and non-uniformed city employees during the weather emergency.

Do you miss the news stories of the U.S. Navy command and crews the USS Toledo honoring the mayor by presenting the colors flown over the submarine? If you are a veteran, then you should understand that he was accorded a high military honor. Try to keep up with the news in order not to appear so ignorant.

I am sure that you are an intelligent individual. However, you have allowed politics and your attempts at trying to be a fashionable cynic to get in the way of your better nature.

posted by paulhem on Mar 15, 2015 at 08:16:25 pm     #  

You, Paulhem, have resorted to insulting me over your opinion. Is this high school?

The presentation of a flag flown from a submarine has no bearing whatsoever on who Collins was or what he did in the service. According to your "rag", it was more of a "nice thing" done by the captain of the USS Toledo because he supposedly is a native of Toledo. There is no protocol of awarding a submarine's flag for any reason that I am aware of and I'm a nuclear submarine veteran. As with politics, the military does things like awarding a particular flag to bolster their P.R. reputation. Collins family getting a flag, at a hockey game has little to do with his service in the military and more to do with it being a touching gesture. Quit trying to make it out like his family got the flag because Collins single handedly stormed the beaches at Normandy. If he wasn't mayor, his family would most likely not have gotten a flag from the USS Toledo. He served his country. Then, sadly, Collins became a politician. With that, you can bet your paycheck that he would have played up the military angle in any way possible if it would have helped him get a vote. The entire problem with this conversation is not that I'm ignorant, fashionable cynic, or that I've let politics get in my way. The problem is that you have an agenda as that you are associated with the blade and will defend what they do til the end. I do not have any such association except to be honest in what I believe. I voted for Collins because I believed he would stick to his campaign promises and be a different kind of mayor. I found out, as I was warned on this very message board, that he was just as much of a bull-crapper as any other mayor/politician.

posted by hockeyfan on Mar 16, 2015 at 03:33:57 am     #   5 people liked this

Ok, this went from "what the hell does the blade have to do" with the poor performance of the administration before, during, and after the water "crisis." to "what the hell does Collins' death have to do" with the poor performance of the administration before, during, and after the water "crisis."

Hem, your ill-conceived, misplaced, and pathetic defense against an "attack" on your Demigod was an additional unnecessary misdirection which was not appreciated by the kids in the class who were discussing the water "crisis."

Collins has, and will continue to be shown an appropriate level of respect for who he was as a man, and how he died. Grown ups with the ability to actually balance the loss and requisite ritual with an honest and truthful assessment of Toledo history and politics will not always praise his decisions. You can rally and rail against the reasonable, as usual. But you need to know that wrapping yourself in the flag of the city and throwing yourself on Collins coffin will not prevent future bad decisions and actions. Only an honest assessment of those decisions in the full sunlight of retrospection will. I have not heard it suggested by any of those who loved Mike Collins that he was the kind of guy who would defer to ass kissing over fact finding. Don't disrespect his memory by projecting the tender sensibilities of a career follower on to a man who was a leader.

posted by justread on Mar 16, 2015 at 05:09:51 am     #   6 people liked this

Yup.

posted by Mariner on Mar 16, 2015 at 05:27:40 am     #   1 person liked this

You can rationalize and attempt to defend your cowardly and dishonorable disrespect. If you believe in what you write, then sign your name to it.

And quit trying to imply that this has anything to do with my employment. My comment on this does not represent any of The Blade's employees, officers and/or owners.

It does represent disgust.

posted by paulhem on Mar 16, 2015 at 07:03:45 am     #  

Seek mental help.

posted by justread on Mar 16, 2015 at 08:07:34 am     #   10 people liked this

Right. Let me know who your mental health professional is so I can avoid that person. You are obviously not doing well.

posted by paulhem on Mar 16, 2015 at 08:36:06 am     #  

Perhaps someone should start a new thread for all this name calling and insulting comments about each other...

posted by Mike21 on Mar 16, 2015 at 08:59:23 am     #  

Mike21 posted at 09:59:23 AM on Mar 16, 2015:

Perhaps someone should start a new thread for all this name calling and insulting comments about each other...

Oh, a whole site exists for that:
www.swampbubbles.com

posted by dell_diva on Mar 16, 2015 at 09:04:38 am     #   3 people liked this

I don't think Mike Bell or anyone on his team would have caused a mass panic based on guesses, incorrect assumptions, ignorance, and fear.

! posted by justread on Mar 15, 2015 at 07:16:14 am

Just so you don't believe your own B.S...

"Only an honest assessment of those decisions in the full sunlight of retrospection will."
! posted by justread on Mar 16, 2015 at 06:09:51 am

And, then...

Hem, your ill-conceived, misplaced, and pathetic defense against an "attack" on your Demigod was an additional unnecessary misdirection which was not appreciated by the kids in the class who were discussing the water "crisis."

posted by paulhem on Mar 16, 2015 at 09:10:09 am     #  

paulhem posted at 09:36:06 AM on Mar 16, 2015:

Right. Let me know who your mental health professional is so I can avoid that person. You are obviously not doing well.

Paul, you should have gone with "I'm rubber and you're glue. What you say bounces off me and sticks to you" Much more powerful and mature that way.

posted by JoeyGee on Mar 16, 2015 at 09:40:42 am     #   6 people liked this

Anyone else notice a different smell and more chemical taste in their water the last few days? I'm in Maumee/Monclova area...

posted by wahhutch9 on Mar 24, 2015 at 05:53:08 am     #  

One of my colleagues mentioned something about a funny taste in the water here at work. I haven't noticed, but I haven't had plain tap water in a while.

posted by valbee on Mar 24, 2015 at 06:23:35 am     #  

wahhutch9 posted at 06:53:08 AM on Mar 24, 2015:

Anyone else notice a different smell and more chemical taste in their water the last few days? I'm in Maumee/Monclova area...

People actually drink the stuff?

posted by MsArcher on Mar 24, 2015 at 07:58:47 am     #  

I have noticed a chlorine smell, maybe since Saturday. It only happens when I first turn the water on. I thought maybe I was imagining it. Guess not.

posted by llz on Mar 24, 2015 at 09:35:59 am     #  

One of my friends on FB had contacted the water dept - this is what he said:

"Water commissioner just called me. Chlorine levels are at 1.5 ppm, Ohio EPA allows fire up to 4.0 ppm. Apologized for the inconvenience and asked me to keep them apprised of the situation. They have increased chlorine because of the spring melt, water runoff, increased biologicals, etc."

posted by endcycle on Mar 24, 2015 at 09:43:28 am     #   2 people liked this

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