Report on drinking water contamination ranks Ohio as 7th worst in country

Report on drinking water contamination ranks Ohio as 7th worst in country

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A scathing report was released Tuesday about drinking water safety across the nation. Out of the 12 worst states listed in the report, Ohio is 7th worst for water contamination.

One of the co-authors said Ohioans are living off of our great-grandparents' investments, with many water treatment plants more than 100-years-old and they have to be updated.

The report is from the NRDC, the Natural Resources Defense Council. Their review of EPA data has found that 77 million Americans are served by water systems that had violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. That's one in four people.

The report cites failures to treat the water to get rid of organisms that cause disease, plus excessive levels of contaminants like arsenic and coliform bacteria.

Lucas County had two violations listed but Wood County had 15 violations.

There's no specific mention, that we found in the report, of Toledo and its treatment plant.

The co-author of the report, Erik Olson, said in a conference call with reporters, "Unfortunately what we have is no cop on the beat. No one is really enforcing the law in the vast majority of cases. Millions of Americans are being exposed to these contaminants and we really need to make investments in fixing these problems."

The city of Toledo, which operates the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant, maintains the water in the city is safe.

Spokesperson Janet Schroeder said in a statement, "The City has an excellent record with providing high-quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all quality standards. The City of Toledo has had no (zero) water quality violations."

The report said it's time to invest in water infrastructure improvements nationwide, even if they cost billions of dollars.

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