Why hasn’t anyone asked the question: What if Algae gets into our water intake

ToledoWaterIntakeAs we enter into day two of Toledo’s water restriction.  I’m sitting here at an undisclosed location drinking a cup of coffee made from well water, and thinking about how this problem came to be.

1) We have been talking about Algae water blooms on Lake Erie for a decades and how harmful they are to the marine life.

2) Toledos water intake is in Lake Erie.

Algae bloom

If those Algae blooms are so harmful to marine life,  how harmful would it be if ingested into human life?


Over the past decade, Toledo has spent a great deal of time a resources to protect our water system. Here is a couple of examples of our Toledo Water Managers protecting the system.

Toledo want to great expense to build a double fence security system around the water plant to keep potential terrorist from peeing in our water.

Toledo water plant built its own electrical power generator station to run the plant, just in case it losses power from both of the two totally independent power feeds into the plant.

Toledo replaced  thousands of perfectly functional fire hydrants  because they don’t have back flow preventers on them

So why didn’t anyone ask the question:

“What would happen if one of those really strong Algae blooms got into the intake? “

I bet water systems across the country are now looking at that question and will be watching Toledo to see what solutions we come up with.


4 responses to “Why hasn’t anyone asked the question: What if Algae gets into our water intake

  1. Excuse me, but isn’t this very website ALWAYS screaming about government regulations? John, I thing we might be having a “talk” at your next public appearance. You seem to have a problem committing to the ideas you present on this website.

  2. Ben,

    We ( Toledo) hired people to run the water department. One of their jobs is to make sure the business is able to deliver the product, or address a contingency in case it cannot. It appears as if the contingency did not exist. I bet it will in the future.

    What “Government Regulation” are you referring to? I’m not sure there is any “regulation” that required the company to ask the question “What happens if?” That would seem like it would be one of the responsibilities of the leadership to ask these types of question. I know I do in my business. (Its called contingency planning)

    • Uh, John, check the email address. That’s not me.

      • OK, that might have been me. (I don’t remember posting last night.) There are three things the Tea Party has pointed out in the past:
        1. GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION: The Federal Government started to water the desert. The Midwestern farmers couldn’t compete with the multiple growing cycles in California financed in part by the Feds. So instead of growing Tomatoes, we grow crops that require heavy fertilization to ship overseas. That heavy fertilizations also takes place in the entire water shed of the three Great Lakes that empty into Lake Erie.
        2. RUNAWAY PUBLIC UNIONS: For years Detroit has been “giving away the store” to the municipal unions. Now Detroit is bankrupt and can’t treat their raw sewage. That sewage is dumped in the Detroit River with supplies Lake Erie with 90% of it’s water.
        3. FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS ARE NOT MEANT TO BE A CHARITY: Toledo City Government has been run by political hacks for years and won’t make the hard decisions because it might cost them votes. Waiting for the Federal Government to swoop in and fix the water plant is not an option.

        See, there is a lot we can agree on.