LUNA PIER, Mich. (AP) — Authorities in southeastern Michigan were operating water stations Sunday for the 30,000 customers affected by toxic contamination in the Toledo, Ohio, water system.
Michigan agencies were consulting with Monroe County authorities and were ready to help as needed, said Gov. Rick Snyder.
“There have been no requests for state assistance at this time, but our state’s emergency management personnel from various agencies are closely monitoring this situation and coordinating and marshalling resources to ensure speedy assistance if and as needed,” Snyder said in a statement. “We will do everything we can to minimize impacts to our citizens and communities.”
About 30,000 water customers in four Monroe County communities use water affected by the water use ban that originated with problems just across the state border in Toledo, Ohio, according to the Monroe News. The South County Water District serves residents of Luna Pier, Bedford and Erie townships and a portion of LaSalle Township.
“We are working with Monroe County emergency management to ensure they have everything needed to respond to this incident,” Michigan state police Capt. Chris A. Kelenske said. “Our state stands ready and is doing everything we can to help during this water use ban.”
Authorities have said they believe the toxins in the water were produced by algae blooms in Lake Erie. The blooms are a regular occurrence in the lake, but a problem of this scale is not, said Mark Hammond, director of Monroe County’s emergency services agency.
“It’s never gotten to this,” Hammond told WWJ-AM. “We’ve got to try to get a hold of it.”
Several fill-up stations with drinkable water are open in the Monroe area, Hammond said, and the American Red Cross can deliver water to those unable to pick it up.
Detroit’s 4 million-user water system gets its water from Lake Huron and the Detroit River. In the face of the Toledo water situation, Detroit officials plan to review their contamination procedures Monday, water department Deputy Director Darryl Latimer told The Detroit News.
He said the staff would discuss whether more testing or new equipment is needed.
Latimer said it was unlikely Detroit would face a problem like Toledo’s.
“The system is tested every two weeks for blue-green algae,” Latimer said. “We haven’t seen the precursors for this type of toxin.”