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Algal toxin levels remain steady in raw lake water

TNS Regional News • Aug 3, 2015 at 4:07 PM

The city of Toledo reported today that the level of algal toxins near its western Lake Erie water-intake crib remained the same as Saturday.

The test results from the raw lake water samples showed 0.4 parts per billion of the toxins, said Stacy Weber, a city spokesman, in a statement. The test results mean the city will keep its water-quality dashboard status at “watch.”

Those toxins are not detectable in tap water, Ms. Weber said, and the water is safe to drink.

Levels of toxin fell on Friday, leading the city to declare that the city’s water quality was back in the “clear” category.

The city's water supply was deemed undrinkable Aug. 2-4 last year when the toxin contaminated the water at the treatment plant.

City officials detected microcystin in the raw lake water for the first time this year on Monday, when it measured 0.5 ppb. Tests Tuesday showed the toxin was at 0.4 ppb and on Wednesday the toxin level was 1.0 ppb. Thursday test results showed the level at 0.5 ppb.

The U.S. EPA in May declared it acceptable for people of school-age and older to drink tap water with up to 1.6 parts per billion of microcystin in it. The limit for infants and children younger than 6 years old, pregnant women, nursing mothers, people with liver conditions, and those on dialysis is 0.3 part per billion, the EPA said.

Both numbers are based on 10-day averages and updated a 1998 World Health Organization advisory, which recommended tap water across the world contain no more than 1.0 ppb of the toxin.

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©2015 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

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