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      Toledo water customers urged to conserve all summer

      Mayor Collins has turned off the water fountain in front of One Government Center in downtown Toledo.

      TOLEDO - City officials are asking consumers of Toledo water to sacrifice once again by cutting back on how much they use over the next few days, and the rest of the summer.

      Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins said Tuesday that by conserving water, less stress will be put on the city's water system, allowing crews to conduct repairs at the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant.

      One of the plant's six basins, or "floculators," which mixes raw water from Lake Erie with treatment chemicals that help remove sediment and algae, needs repair. With that repair expected to last four days, the mayor has asked for residents to reduce water usage.

      "We're getting through this challenge by working together and that teamwork will continue to serve us well," Collins said in a statement. "We all need to pull together now to reduce our water usage for the next four days in order to conduct some maintenance that will keep our water system in strong operating condition through the current algal bloom but over the long term as well."

      COMPLETE COVERAGE: Toledo Water Crisis

      Mayor Collins defended his response to the weekend water crisis on Tuesday, saying he did not to lift the ban prematurely and isolate any one community.

      However, Collins did say that the event was a learning experience. "We should have had better communications, and that's something we're going to fix," said Collins. "We could have never fixed it if we didn't know the problem existed."

      The city has asked that residents take common sense steps to conserve, not only while repairs are made, but for the entire summer or algae-season. "Residents of the northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan area, please let's get through this," Collins said at the Tuesday press conference. "I beg for your support, and please let's get through this season as we look forward to the future where we will no longer have to look at ways in which we have to conserve water in these pretty invasive ways in terms of our lifestyles."

      READ: Experts discuss algae blooms at University of Toledo

      Residents are asked to avoid watering lawns or using home irrigation systems, avoid washing cars at home, take shorter showers, wash only full loads of laundry or dishes, and run washing machines and dishwashers in efficiency modes.

      To encourage residents to do their part, Collins has asked that all artistic forms of water be turned off. He took the first step by turning off the water fountain in front of One Government Center in downtown Toledo.