WESTLAKE, Ohio - Cleveland water officials said the area’s water supply is safe to drink, despite the water problem that Toledo is facing now.
“We’re monitoring the water quality constantly here at the plants as it comes in, as the lake water comes in,” said Alex Margevicius, interim commissioner with the Cleveland Division of Water.
Employees at the Crown Filtration Plant in Westlake said they are measuring chlorine and fluoride levels regularly. They’re also checking for bacteria and the amount of acidity in the water.
“As of right now, Cleveland water is great,” said Margevicius.
But, it’s a much different situation in Toledo.
“It’s been awful, it’s been horrible,” said one Toledo-area resident.
“We just need water so we can go home and take care of our kids,” said another Toledo-area resident.
Since early Saturday morning, Toledo-area residents have been told not to drink or boil tap water. That’s because routine testing showed that the western basin of Lake Erie – which is the city’s water supply – is contaminated with toxins. The toxins are coming from an algae bloom. They can cause vomiting and numbness, which could ultimately lead to liver and nervous system damage.
But Margevicius said the ecology of the western basin of the lake is very different than the central basin, where Cleveland sits.
“It [the western basin] is shallower out there which means it gets warmer quicker, and it’s a very agricultural region out there,” he added.
Margevicius said the algae bloom was caused by run off from agricultural fertilizer.
“It is my hope that we don’t need FEMA and we get back in,” said Toledo Mayor Michael Collins. “But, I’m not going to give anyone a false hope. This is not going to be our new normal, We’re going to fix this.”
On Sunday, the Crown Filtration Plant filled up massive water tankers that hold 2,200 gallons of water. The water was sent to the Toledo area.