EcoTrack 11: Where does our drinking water come from?

The water intake valve in the middle of Lake Erie.
The water intake valve in the middle of Lake Erie.
Lake Erie water arriving at the treatment facility in Jerusalem Township.
Lake Erie water arriving at the treatment facility in Jerusalem Township.
The Collins Park treatment plant in east Toledo cleans and test the water.
The Collins Park treatment plant in east Toledo cleans and test the water.
There you have it. The fifth best water in the country.
There you have it. The fifth best water in the country.

TOLEDO -- Did you know Toledo's water is ranked fifth best in the country for taste and quality?

In this Eco-Track 11 report we take a look at just where that water comes from. We asked folks in downtown Toledo if they knew where we get our drinking water.  One answered, "I'm pretty sure we get it from a combination of ground water, the Maumee, and Lake Erie...I don't know...It's my best guess."

Another guess... "Maybe out of the river...the Maumee River."

And a final guess... "It comes out from Lake Erie... in the middle." Ding. Ding. That one's correct.

Here's how it works. An intake crib three miles out into Lake Erie pumps water to the low pump station in Jerusalem Township on Reno Beach. There, activated carbon is added to the water to remove algae and any fishy odors or tastes.

After that, the water flows to the Collins Park treatment plant in east Toledo nine miles away. That's where the real work begins to get you that fresh, clean water. Chemicals are added to help remove unwanted particles. Then the water passes through sand filters. Chlorine and fluoride are added, and then it is laboratory tested by EPA-certified chemists to make sure the water is safe to drink.

So there you go. That's the way we get drinking water because we happen to live next to a Great Lake. Did you get it right? If so, here's another one. Do you know where your watershed is?

For the answer to that question and links to all of environmental news reports, visit the EcoTrack 11 section of our web site.

Posted by LS