Bottled water supply drying up

Locals stocking up, taking water to family in Toledo, where water supply is contaminated
Alissa Widman Neese
Aug 3, 2014


Sandusky residents, keep drinking up — the water is fine, at least for now.

Stocking up, however, may pose a problem.

Early Saturday, individuals in Toledo and its surrounding areas learned toxins from Lake Erie algal blooms contaminated their water supplies, rendering all water indefinitely undrinkable.

The harmful bloom is isolated in Lake Erie's western basin, and hasn't affected any water in Erie or Ottawa counties, according to recent reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Even so, by Saturday night you'd be hard-pressed to find bottled water in any store in the local region.

"Some people are prematurely panicking, and thinking the water here isn't safe," said Breeann Hohman, watershed coordinator for the Erie Soil and Water Conservation District.

Individuals flocked to area grocery stores and gas stations, clearing their shelves within hours.

Many stores placed limits on how many cases of bottled water could be purchased at one time.

People took to social media to discuss the contaminated Toledo water, with several spreading misinformation about local water supplies along the way.

Some from the local area said they were taking water to relatives and friends in Toledo, where supplies quickly dried up.

Others falsely claimed Sandusky's water was contaminated, or admitted they were just stocking up in case contamination occurred. 

Sandusky city manager Eric Wobser used Twitter to update residents Saturday, and to assure them Sandusky's water is still safe and drinkable.

Sandusky and adjacent city water systems, including Huron, tested their water supplies early Saturday and found no traces of harmful Lake Erie toxins, called microcystins, he said.

"We will test daily for now and provide updates on any status changes," Wobser said.

Also on Twitter, Wobser said city employees and individuals from Bay View delivered two trucks of water to a school in Toledo on Saturday.

Contaminated water in Toledo cannot be boiled to remove the toxins, because heating the water actually makes them more harmful.

Drinking the contaminated water can cause liver damage, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea, according to reports from the Associated Press.

It is safe to wash hands or shower in it, but it cannot be given to pets or used in any food preparation.

Gov. John Kasich has declared a state of emergency for Fulton, Lucas and Wood counties, and no statement has been made on when water in those areas could be safe to drink again.



Are the governments telling us that because there is so much algae that it cannot be neutralized by chemicals at the water plant? What are the chances that the algae moves eventually to the rest of the coastal towns? I think Sandusky should be testing the water twice a day until the risk of the algae migration is over with.


No they should test 3 times!


I think the issue isn't so much the algae bloom but more so the public recognition of it. Three years ago, the bloom was insanely larger and more concentrated. No one was testing for it and no one became ill from drinking the water. Yet, here we are, three years later with a much smaller problem and the whole North Coast has become infatuated with testing. Just my opinion.

Ralph J.

LIKE. Green pea soup 3 years ago and nobody got sick.


Sunshine: Maybe the "media" wasn't as involved during the bloom 3 years ago. The Toledo news station on Channel 11 in Erie County was on the air for about 12=14 hours yesterday providing wall-to-wall coverage on the bloom.


It seems that the water treatment plant in question (in Toledo) is an aged facility and unable to handle this problem. The City of Oregon, east of Toledo, receives it's water from the same intake as Toledo does. Oregon isn't having the same issue with it's purified water quality. Hopefully our treatment plant has the same technology.


Boob Latta with his buddy Boob Portman is making political hay with this.... perhaps someone should suggest they work with the Congresspersons who have tried to focus on the importance of replacing aging infrastructure.
And maybe they should start increasing funds to Nixon's EPA instead of trying to kill it.
And maybe the SR should jump on a REAL investigative report...
And maybe we should bottle Toledo water and send it for the TEA Party to use - boiled - for their tea.


The EPA is too busy harrassing business over CO2 emissions, levying fines and grabbing power to pay attention to actual real issues. There is no scientific proof CO2 does anything to damage the environment.
Do you Ann use products that assist in algal blooms? There are ways to do your part, granted the products that are safe for the lake water are expensive, but YOU have control over that. Melaluca products are safe, company is run by a Conservative who supported Romney in 2012 and surprise, surprise was targeted by Obamas, Lois Lerners IRS.
Yep those Teaparty Conservatives they just want to destroy the environment.
I purchase and use Melaleuca products.


Of course, it Obama's fault... you are, as usual, talking out your rear end.


Where did I blame Obama specifically? It's the whole Dem/lib/progressive agenda of climate change predicated upon fossil fuel emissions, carbon (CO2).
Instead of offering a refute for my post you attack me, know why? Cause you've got NOTHING.


I think you are seriously demented sugar palin.


I have never seen someone so happy to buy water . Go bucks

Whiskey Tango F...

The Toledo intake is in small shallow maumee bay with a LOT of agricultural run-off. As water warms, the bloom spreads. Dilution is how best to get rid of it, however the islands and port Clinton are in line. Sandusky gets their water back behind the Venetian marina in the back bay. I guess it is a good heads up on how much we take our resources for granted. Kudos to Wobser for actually speaking and reaching out to inform us! We all were there to throw stones at the last manager, now let's thank the new guy!


Sandusky does NOT get water from the bay, the intake is out in Lake Erie.


I always like a city manager that is one step ahead of a crisis instead of not having a clue and waiting for the crisis to hit and then taking action. Being without water is not a good thing to be without. We all take water for granted until we don't have access to it.

Kottage Kat

I live in Norwalk. Get my water at a water filling station. Almost a dollar at Walmart, get 4 gallons for a dollar. Natural spring at Peru is free.
Use it for cooking and coffee, can't stand the smell of Norwalk water


That sprin at Peru is safe? I always heard sometimes its ok and other times its not. Does anyone test it anymore? Anybody know?


There are quite a few people that will tell you it is not. Some that will tell you about how many in Peru actually have some kind of illness or cancer, again from all the farming and runoff. Not sure if anyone tests the spring or not.

Ralph J.

Is the Detroit area still dumping raw sewage into the river?


Daddy Wags buying the water!

yea right

I heard that there is a large hole at the bottom of the lake and it is draining out the lake. By January it will be dried up..


Next people will be trading foodstamps for bottled water. Sheez

The Big Dog's back

Remember the zebra mussel invasion? Capitalism brought them here. It basically destroyed the beach at Crane Creek.


Yeah because commerce and trade are bad thing, lol, what am idiot. When you got nothing you have to lash out to see what might stick.

The Big Dog's back

Yep, commerce and trade have done wonders for the Lake. The only thing it has done is line the pockets of the wealthy and leave the clean up for us.


Algae bloom has always occurred. It is because there has been very little SW winds to blow it out to the lake this year. The prevailing winds this summer have been more northeasterly, thus, not pushing it out. Calm down people.

danbury dad

The libs demand renewable energy. We build ethanol pants in Ohio to turn corn into fuel (renewable). Price of corn goes up by double . The farmers plant more corn and use more nitrogen to get more corn off of an acre of ground. More nitrogen in the ground means more renewable energy and more run off that produces a bigger algae bloom that poison our lake. Yep I blame the libs.


Regarding the Peru Spring: The Norwalk Reflector did an article on it years ago....early 80's? Can not quote verbatim but goes something like this: Since the spring is open to the public, by Federal law, it has X amount of parts per million over the legal limit. If aforementioned spring was for private usage it would be legal under same Federal law. Remember the signage there years ago? p.s. Remember hearing the arguments regarding Huron County Landfill being built over an aquifer - which by the way flows towards Peru. Remember - in Huron County, Plymouth & North - all water flows to Lake Erie.


All those running to the store trying to buy water need to realize when the grid fails (And it will) no more water and all those that prepared for this sort of emergency will be the same ones who tell you to go pack sand. Learn a lesson, save a life.