TOLEDO, Ohio (WANE) – After a weekend without water, life is finally getting back to normal for close to half a million people in Toledo. The water ban came after officials found dangerous levels of an algae-induced toxin in Lake Erie.
Experts said a massive algae bloom may be to blame for the three day water ban. Officials said ingesting that toxin could cause nausea, rashes and even liver damage. People in the area scrambled to get clean water, some even drove down to Defiance County to buy it.
Monday morning, the Ohio EPA and mayor of Toledo lifted the “do not drink” order after Mayor Michael Collins said six new water tests came back without a trace of algae-induced toxin.
NewsChannel 15’s Adam Widener was in Toledo Monday, and while people are relieved the ban is lifted, some are still skeptical.
Some people are still planning on only drinking bottled water, while others who are willing to drink tap water worry that the weather is so stagnant that another ban could be in the future.
“I think there is some risk but it is still usable,” said Debbie, a woman relieved that water is back on.
Debbie didn’t want her last name to be used, but she said the chaotic rush for bottled water Saturday taught her it’s important to stock pile water even more so than she was already doing.
Water ban creates headache for wedding
About every wedding has a story of what went wrong.
For newlyweds Nathan and Andrea Pennington in Toledo, theirs began with a rude awakening to a health hazard. Their wedding and reception was scheduled for Saturday, right in the middle of the water ban.
Lisa Perry, the mother of Andrea, said her daughter called her and warned her not to drink the water.
“Mom have you drank the water yet?’ I said no. And she said, ‘Don’t drink the water,”
Perry said her daughter, the bride, began handling the situation well, but then came the news many businesses in Toledo, including their reception hall, received.
“The worst case scenario would be that the health department would close them down. Because the concern would be how would they monitor the guests to ensure nobody came into contact with any water,” Perry said. That’s when [Andrea] kind of fell apart. So it wasn’t a matter of just ingesting it, it was a matter of you can’t wash your clothes, you can’t touch the water, you can’t shower.”
However, the family’s neighborhood was one of a couple that miraculously wasn’t affected by the water ban, which made showers and hair possible. The problem was the ceremony and reception locations. Many weddings, they somehow made it work.
Now the bride and groom are left looking back at their day with a smile, raising not a glass, but a bottle toward the friends, family, and community that came through.