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Toledo mayor lifts water ban in Ohio

Published:Tuesday | August 5, 2014 | 12:00 AM

OHIO (AP):A water ban that had hundreds of thousands of people in Ohio and Michigan scrambling for drinking water has been lifted, Toledo's mayor announced yesterday.

Mayor D. Michael Collins called the drinking water safe and lifted the ban at a Monday morning news conference.

"Our water is safe," Collins said. "Families can return to normal life."

Ohio's fourth largest city warned residents not to use city water early Saturday after tests at one treatment plant showed readings for microcystin above the standard for consumption, most likely from algae on Lake Erie. Ohio Governor John Kasich declared a state of emergency.

At a news conference early yesterday morning, Collins said he decided to keep the advisory in place, even though latest test results suggest the algae-induced toxin contaminating the lake had probably dissipated to safe levels. The mayor said two tests had come back "too close for comfort".

Later yesterday, Collins said six new test results came back without traces of the toxin.

The mayor said carbon was added to the water at the point of intake and that chlorine was also added into the system to help clean the water.

"This isn't an exact science," he said.

City officials recommended that residents who had not used their water since the ban started flushing out their systems by running water. They also cautioned everyone not to all do it at once, and told people not to water lawns or wash cars at the risk of overwhelming the system.