Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins lifted the city's drinking water ban at a Monday, August 4 news conference after three days of chaos. The National Guard had been called in to provide clean water so residents could avoid potential health effects -- including skin rashes, vomiting and diarrhea -- of drinking Lake Erie water contaminated with blue-green algal toxins. While some toxins remain, the mayor has declared the city's water supply "safe" for human use.
Scientists point to excessive phosphorus as the culprit in this incident. History bears them out.