Toledo Water Ban Lifted: How to Stay Safe at the Lake

Published 08/05 2014 02:12PM

Updated 08/05 2014 02:28PM

Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, occurs in lakes and it's levels are the highest during summertime.  Accidental consumption can often lead to nausea.

After the water bank linked to this type of algae was lifted in Toledo, WFFT's Rohma Siddiqui went to a surrounding city in Ohio and brings us more from Celina on how to stay safe while having fun at the lake.

Celina resident, Amanda Muter hasn't gone swimming in Grand Lake St Mary's in over 15 years.

"I wouldn't swim in it, I just walk around and boat."

Grand Lake St. Mary's is actually 100% of Celina, Ohio's consumable water source.

Jeffrey Hazel, Mayor of Celina, Ohio says safety is the #1 concern and that is why they have a state of the art water filtration plant installed in their city.

"We have non that, that is present in our drinking water.  We have obviously a water filtration plant here."

Todd Hone, Assistant Superintendent at the Celina Water Plant describes the complex treatment process.

"Coagulation, sedimentation, dual ozone, sand filtration, GAC absorption, clorination."

GAC, or Granular Activated Carbon, which is the second to last step, captures any organics.  Hone describes it as a very large charcoal filter.

Dick Cushman, Owner of Big Bamboo Dock Side Grill on the lake says he noticed a sharp decline in business when the outbreak first began in 2009.

"When I opened in 2010, that was the first outbreak.  I was rock bottom, it scared the daylights out of me to be honest with ya."

Since then, he says the city has made a lot of efforts to combat it and now, for him, business is booming.

"It's actually starting to work."

Mark Bruce, Spokesman for Ohio Department of Natural Resources says Grand Lake is still under a recreational public health advisory.

"What that mean is that the lake is not closed.  It means that children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are recommended from swimming or waiting in the water.  The ultimate decision is up to the guest."

Mark also advises to shower or at least wash your hands after exposure to any lake water.

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