Mayor Collins discusses water safety at a water summit in Chicago

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Water safety was the main topic Wednesday at a Mayor's Conference in Chicago, where Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins spoke about Lake Erie and the algal bloom that caused the water crisis in early August.

The conference was held at the Shedd Aquarium on Lake Michigan and leaders discussed how to prevent another water crisis in the Great Lakes region.

Mayor Collins spoke for 15 minutes about Toledo's water crisis, as an invited guest of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Collins says the water crisis was Toledo's canary in the coal mine moment, a reference to the old practice by miners, when they take canaries into the tunnels with them to give them the first indication of a gas leak. Collins also says the spike in microcystins in Toledo's drinking water was the first big alarm that got the nation's attention.

Collins called for other mayors at the conference to work with him and to have President Obama issue an executive order to get Lake Erie cleaned up.

"I've listened to the conversations and I am guardedly optimistic but I think the strength of all the mayors involved here, that I think is going to be very significant," said Collins.

Chicago Mayor Emanuel says he will push for the creation of a single standard for safe drinking water, which is something that wasn't in place during Toledo's water crisis.

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