Only on WTOL: Ohio EPA director says Toledo water treatment shows improvement

Taken near the water intake Aug. 21 (Source: Alex Lytten)
Taken near the water intake Aug. 21 (Source: Alex Lytten)

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - What isbeing done to keep Toledo's water safe, and is it enough? Toledo News Now spoketo the director of the Ohio EPA for an exclusive update.

Ohio EPADirector Craig Butler says he is seeing improvements and Toledo is headed inthe right direction with the water, but the work is not over.

"Wecontinue to get data from [the Toledo water treatment plant] to show that notonly are the levels for microcystin at significantly lower levels in the lake,but they're treating those levels for the water they put out in thosedistribution systems very effectively," Butler said.

Thetreatment plant has also added a new buoy at the water intake site to sendreal-time data to the plant so they know how what needs to be done to treat thewater.

WhileButler says the plant is running efficiently now, the work is far from over.

"We'relooking at upgrading our water treatment plants. They still need upgrading tomake sure they're not discharging excess nutrients into the lake or into thewatershed," he said. "We're also looking at, with the health departments, thoseareas that have failed septic systems to make sure that whatever contributionthey have is minimized."

The OhioEPA will continue to meet with Toledo officials to monitor the water treatmentsystem and make sure they have it under control.

"It's goingto take that kind of effort – a really coordinated, significant effort - for usto have a measurable impact on the lake," Butler said. "And we're committed todo that."

Butlerstressed that there are multiple contributors to the water problem, not justagriculture runoff, and that the community needs to work together to fix this.

Latest test results from the treatment plant indicate non-detectable levels of microcystins in the water.

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