Ohio Declares State of Emergency Over Unsafe Tap Water

Water drips from a bathroom tap January 12, 2007 in Berlin, Germany.
Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The 400,000 or so people of Toledo, Ohio’s fourth-largest city, and its surrounding areas are being told not to drink the stuff coming out of their faucets after two tests showed that it contains toxins. (According to the Toledo Blade, the toxin in question is microcystin, which may have come from algae in nearby Lake Eerie.) Mayor Michael Collins says that the National Guard is trucking in clean liquid from other Ohio towns but, for now, the Health Department is “strongly recommending” that restaurants (and other businesses where customers might ingest water) close. The city also says that its citizens shouldn’t use their tap water for “making infant formula, making ice, brushing teeth, preparing food,” and feeding their pets. (Showers are allowed.) Meanwhile, grocery stores are already selling out of bottled water, so it’s shaping up to be a pretty uncomfortable weekend in northwest Ohio.

Ohio Tap Water Contaminated With Toxins