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mayor lifts water ban in US city

August 4, 2014

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A water ban that had hundreds of thousands of people in two U.S. states scrambling for drinking water has been lifted, Toledo’s mayor announced Monday.

Mayor D. Michael Collins called the drinking water safe and lifted the ban at a Monday morning news conference.

“Our water is safe,” Collins said. “Families can return to normal life.”

Ohio’s fourth-largest city warned residents not to use city water early Saturday after tests at one treatment plant showed readings for microcystin above the standard for consumption, most likely from algae on Lake Erie. Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency.

With the warning, worried residents told not to drink, brush their teeth or wash dishes with the water descended on truckloads of bottled water delivered from across the state. The Ohio National Guard was using water purification systems to produce drinkable water.

Some hospitals canceled elective surgeries and were sending surgical equipment that needed sterilized to facilities outside the water emergency, said Bryan Biggie, disaster coordinator for ProMedica hospitals in Toledo.

In neighboring Michigan, authorities were operating water stations Sunday for the 30,000 customers affected by the toxic contamination.

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