Toledo water plant receiving massive upgrades

Collins Park water treatment plant (WNWO/Marcus Espinoza).

Three years ago the City of Toledo was in a full blown water crisis.

Algal blooms combined with the perfect mix of weather to cause the water in Toledo to be undrinkable for three days.

"That bloom went from non-existent to present, very quickly. Not only did the bloom show up, but the toxin producing capabilities from that bloom came in real quick," said Chris Winslow with Stone Laboratory.

The City of Toledo and it's officials remember that period vividly.

Which is why nearly $500 million in improvements are coming to the Collins Park Water Treatment plant in Toledo.

"We can feed four times as much potassium permanganate, which is an oxidant which will react to the microcystin, we can feed four times as much powdered activated carbon which will absorb the microcystin and we can feed powdered activated carbon in the plant, a capability which we didn't have before," said Andy McClure, Council Park plant admin.

In other words, if the same crisis that happened in 2014 happened today, the city could handle it.

An entirely new electrical system has been installed as well as a new roof.

The city's also upgrading the pumping stations, chemical feed systems and treatment basins.

In addition to treating the water in Lake Erie, Toledo is encouraging folks to follow it's water quality scale.

That ranges from 'Clear'.. like it is today.. to 'DO NOT DRINK'.

A level experts say is unlikely to be reached due to these upgrades.

"We're letting you know exactly what's going on. We're not hiding anything, we're completely transparent and that dashboard is the be-all-end all, that is the state of the water. IF the dashboard hasn't changed, the water quality hasn't changed," said McClure.

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