Cops: Norwalk water is OK

Cary Ashby • Aug 4, 2014 at 11:26 PM

Authorities are assuring Norwalk-area residents that their water supply isn't being impacted by the situation in Toledo.

"The city of Norwalk water comes from our reservoir system and is in no way affected by the current algae issues being reported in the Toledo area with Lake Erie. There is absolutely no need to be concerned about our water supply here in the city," the Norwalk Police Department posted on its Facebook page Saturday.

Water at a Toledo treatment plant tested positive for a toxin on Saturday, leading the governor to declare a state of emergency in three counties. A do-not-drink order went out to 500,000 Ohioans.

News of the contaminated water spread quickly, sending many of Toledo's 280,000 residents flocking to Toledo shopping areas, neighboring cities and in some cases, north to Michigan, in search of fresh water.

Local Rite Aid manager Linda Collins said the store sold 100 cases of water Saturday.

"The people were saying they were buying it mostly for friends and relatives who live in Toledo," she said about the Rite Aid purchases.

Rite Aid sold out of its least expensive water and as of Sunday afternoon, only the higher-priced water was left, Collins said. Rite Aid won't be getting another shipment this week.

Some stores in Norwalk put limits on the amount of bottled water shoppers could purchase.

Norwalk's Walmart sold out of its bottled water on Saturday.

Earlier Saturday, state officials warned residents in Toledo and surrounding areas not to drink, or even boil, the water tainted with microcystin, a toxin possibly caused by an algae bloom in Lake Erie that can cause nausea and impair liver function. While the chemical is rarely fatal to humans and more likely to kill animals and plant life, officials said residents of the affected counties should use the water only to bathe or wash their hands.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency for residents of Lucas, Wood and Fulton counties early Saturday.

Carol Hester, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, said Sunday that water samples from the Collins Water Treatment Plant had been sent to three different labs and the state was still waiting for some of the results.

"We are awaiting results from all of those locations to be able to look at them all together as a whole and discuss with the technical experts what the results are and how to move forward," she said.

Toledo's mayor said Sunday that the city was awaiting the results of new tests on the water. "This is not over yet," he said.

EDITOR'S NOTE: James Queally of the Los Angeles Times (MCT) contributed to this story.

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