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400,000 in Ohio await water test results

Sunday, August 03, 2014 - 00:54

Nearly half a million people in Toledo, Ohio await test results after high toxin levels were detected in the water supply making it unsafe to drink. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Testing of water for toxins in Toledo, Ohio, continued on Sunday as some 400,000 people remained without safe drinking water for a second day following the discovery of high toxin levels from algae on Lake Erie. Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins said some sampling showed decreased toxin levels but that results from further tests would not be known until later in the day. "All I can tell you is that everything is trending in a very positive direction," Collins told reporters. But he also cautioned "this is not over yet" and he could not predict when water would be safe to drink. About 500,000 people get water from the contaminated source but about 100,000 residents of some communities have backup water supply systems, said city of Toledo spokeswoman Lisa Ward. Health officials sent samples to several laboratories for testing after finding Lake Erie may have been affected by a "harmful algal bloom," Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Heidi Griesmer said. The lake provides the bulk of the area's drinking water. Ohio Governor John Kasich declared a state of emergency on Saturday for the state's fourth-largest city and surrounding counties. The Ohio National Guard, various state agencies and the American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio were working to truck safe water to the area. Drinking the contaminated water can affect the liver and cause diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, numbness or dizziness, city officials said, adding that boiling will not destroy the toxins. The water should not be used for drinking, making infant formula or ice, brushing teeth or preparing food, the governor's office said. It also should not be given to pets, but hand washing is safe and adults can shower in it, officials said. In response to the Toledo crisis, Chicago began additional testing on Lake Michigan water as a precaution and expects results within a day or two, city spokeswoman Shannon Breymaier said.

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400,000 in Ohio await water test results

Sunday, August 03, 2014 - 00:54

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