What Can We Learn From The Toledo Water Scare?

August 4th, 2014

What would we do without fresh, free-flowing drinkable water? I know this is something I take for granted, as probably many others do as well. I drink water out of the tap without EVER questioning it, I like it that way. I’m not a bottled water person either; it just doesn’t make sense to me. Call me cheap, but why would I want to pay dollars on the gallon when I can pay mere pennies and get it right out of the faucet?

But just in the past year a couple of water scares have really caught my attention, the Elk River Chemical scare near Charleston, West Virginia back in January of this year, and most recently the toxic algae that found its way into the Toledo water system.

However, what is most alarming to me is the fact that it seems to take very little to shut down the infrastructure of an entire city or in other words, how much we seem to take water and all that we rely on it for, for granted. The most obvious takeaways from these recent events should serve as a clear reminder that all of us should at least have ONE gallon of water PER PERSON PER DAY in our households for at least three days in case of an emergency (here’s more from ready.gov). I’ll count myself as one of those who needs to learn a lesson here: if you asked me how much water I had in reserve at my place before this latest scare in Toledo I would have embarrassingly told you “zero gallons” and I have a wife and five-month-old at home. That’s unacceptable.

I’m no expert on the topic, but I sincerely hope that the algae scare in Toledo will change A LOT of things. Unfortunately, it usually takes a major scare to enact change, as is the case with many other things as well. However, if there’s one issue I think we need to be proactive about as opposed to reactive, it’s the issue of water quality. I mean, it’s water; we need it to live! Don’t we want to at least get this one right? I know I sure as heck don’t want to live in a place where we have to depend on bottled water rather than tap water!

It was reassuring to me today that on our news we heard from both Celina and Lima on how the water is treated. Celina gets 100% of their drinking water from Grand Lake St. Marys, a lake that’s no stranger to toxic algae. If it wasn’t for the investment of MILLIONS of dollars for newer and better filtration, Celina wouldn’t be able to take drinking water from the lake. Of course swimming in the lake is still highly unadvised because of the algae, but the hope is that with more awareness and recognition, maybe one day a remedy will finally be found to allow people in that area to fully enjoy the lake once again! I know one thing, I used to take for granted just getting a drink of water out of the faucet and I never really put much thought as to where our water comes from. That will be changing for me now. I invite you to share ideas here about how we all might work together to become more educated and active when it comes to keeping our community’s water supply pristine and in abundance for years to come.

Here are links to our representatives to Washington here in Ohio.

United States Congressman Jim Jordan’s office

United States Congressman Bob Latta’s office

United States Senator Sherrod Brown’s office

United States Senator Rob Portman’s office















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