DEFIANCE, Ohio (WANE) – The Defiance County Health Department has issued an advisory for recreational use of the Maumee River due to elevated levels of algal toxins.
Swimming, wading and other activities in the river in Defiance County is not recommended for children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with certain medical conditions, and pets.
Signs have been posted along the river warning of the toxins.
The City of Defiance said water samples taken from the Defiance City Reservoir and the Maumee River on May 31 indicated an algal bloom was in progress. A health department statement said levels were high in the reservoir but particularly high in the river. On May 31, additional testing was down by the Northwest District Office of the Ohio EPA to determine the toxicity of the blooms.
Friday’s results showed a small amount of toxins present in the reservoir (0.696 parts per billion). Officials said the test results from the Defiance Water Plant showed no amount of toxins remaining after normal treatment.
Officials said the water is safe to drink.
However, the Maumee River showed toxin levels at 19 parts per billion – which prompted the recreational advisory.
Health officials said the bloom present in the reservoir was treated Friday night with an algaecide and another application will be administered early next week. Officials said the algaecide should eliminate the risk of increasing levels of toxins and additional testing will be performed next week.
Officials said the algal bloom developed quickly and there was no immediate evidence to suggest one was beginning to form.
Health officials also said residents of Defiance who are experiencing a taste and odor difference in the water is not related to the algal bloom.
If you have been recently exposed to water in the Maumee River you should wash your skin immediately. Symptoms associated with an algal bloom include rash, hives, blisters, severe diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Health officials said if you experience such syptoms to seek care from a physician or urgent care.
More information is available from the Defiance County Health Department on their website.