…But the water is okay to drink

 Toledo issued a recreational public health advisory for the Maumee River recently. According to a release from the Toledo Lucas County Health Department: “Swimming and wading in the Maumee River is not recommended for children, pregnant/ nursing women, pets, or those with certain medical conditions. Advisory signs will be posted along the Maumee River at various access points . . .

“If you have been in contact with water associated with the algal bloom, rinse your skin immediately. Symptoms of exposure to a harmful algal bloom include: rash, hives, blisters, severe diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. If you’ve had contact with water in the Maumee River and are displaying these symptoms, please seek medical care.”

A spokesperson for the Lucas County Health Dept. states that the advisory is still in effect through Friday, October 6. As of October 8, the Toledo water quality test results for microcystin indicate NON-DETECT in tap water and less than 5 ppb of microcystin in the untreated water in the intake crib in Lake Erie.

 Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson has officially come out in support of an impaired label for Lake Erie’s Western Basin. The mayor previously sent a letter to President Trump asking for the designation and has made strides in pushing the impairment agenda, but now she signals that she is willing to be a full-blown advocate for change. Election season posturing? Or has the algae-stained Maumee River and western Lake Erie finally become too disgusting?

 The Lucas County Commissioners held a special meeting by the water recently, approving a resolution to reach out to the U.S. EPA, urging the agency to include Western Basin waters in an impaired designation pursuant to the Clean Water Act. “We’re doing everything we can at a local level,” said Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak.

 According to the meter at the City of Toledo’s Water Treatment Services dashboard, as of Friday, October 6, our water is firmly in the “clear” designation, meaning it’s safe for human consumption. A no-nonsense edict has been issued that the water is safe to drink and that the seemingly unwavering digital needle on the meter does, in fact, work.