Panel at Toledo's Rotary Club meeting discusses the water crisis

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - A panel gathered at the Rotary Club of Toledo's weekly meeting on Monday to discuss the city's drinking water.

The panel was made up of people with scientific, agriculture and water treatment backgrounds, who took center stage as they answered questions about the water crisis, what it means for the future of the drinking water and what is being done to prevent it from happening again.

BGSU Professor of Biology Dr. George Bullerjahn broke down the scientific background of the algal bloom.  Dr. Bullerjhan says he is not surprised the city experienced a water crisis. In fact Bullerjahn explained a month ago why he was surprised it didn't happen sooner.

"Different blooms differ in the level of toxins they produce," said Bullerjahn. "Then, we also had a special wind event which blew the bloom right over the Toledo water intake. So, there are a number of factors you have to consider."

Bullerjahn says these blooms will happen again.

"Be prepared and be aware this is the new normal," said Bullerjahn.

Commissioner of the Division of Water Treatment Tim Murphy says for now additional chemicals will continue to be added to the water. Murphy says he also asked city council to approve a transfer of $1.5 million dollars into the department's Bulk Chemical Fund.

"We're spending a significant amount of money on chemicals for the water treatment process to address the algal blooms," said Murphy. "And we're just needing more money into the budget."

Both Bullerjahn and Murphy say the water is safe to drink and Murphy says testing being done is still non-detectable.

Additional chemicals will continue to be added to the water until the end of September.

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