by Ben Richmond
Coinciding with the return of a prodigal Cavalier, it's possible that many in northern Ohio didn't give second thought to a warning from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that this summer would be another bad one for toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie. But there's no remaining ignorant about the situation now.
Fueled on fertilizer and warm weather, the toxic algae has been blooming like crazy, making 2014 a bad year for anyone around the lake, the fish in it, and the 400,000 people in and around Toledo, who can't shower or drink the water from their taps.
On Saturday, Toledo officials issued a warning not to drink the water, after they discovered high levels of the toxin microcystin in the water, coming from a huge bloom of the cyanobacteria (or, “blue-green algae”) microcystis in Lake Erie’s Maumee Bay, where the city of 284,000 draws its drinking water. Boiling tap water only concentrates the toxins further, so residents were left emptying store shelves of bottled water and lining up at water distribution centers, as their water supply turned a sickly shade of Satanic vomit-green.