No need to panic; small amount of toxin detected at Toledo water intake

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It's not time to panic and not time to be buying a ton of bottled water but the city of Toledo has detected a small amount of toxins at the water intake from the Lake Erie algae bloom.

No toxins have been detected at the water treatment plant or any tap. This has led the city to increase its testing.

Testing is already ramping up for 2019. The city samples lake water every day and was testing weekly for any toxins. Now the testing is every 3 days, with some toxin detected near the intake.

"If it continues to rise, we'll eventually get to the point where we're running the test every day,” said Andy McClure the Collins Park water treatment plant.

McClure says the facility can easily treat the amount detected now and any other toxin levels. So much has changed since the 2014 water crisis. Now the treatment plant has improved capability to treat with carbon, potassium permanganate and apply chlorine at the plant.

There's also much earlier detection, with things like buoys in the lake.

“We know conditions in the lake much better than in the past. That allows us to adjust our treatment, make sure our chemical inventories are enough for the added treatment. It gives us the ability to really start the treatment a lot sooner," said McClure.

That treatment this year will include enhanced, rapid mixing of chemicals. As for the future, there is lots of construction at the plant like basins 7 and 8 to treat water. When they are finished it will increase capacity and allow others to be taken out of service for repairs and upgrades.

Next year the “ozone” process will be able to basically zap the toxins from that water. That process will be ready for the 2020 algae season.