Cleveland officials ‘confident’ NE Ohio won’t have water emergency

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland water remains safe to drink in light of the contamination in the Toledo public water system.

Saturday, a state of emergency was declared for Lucas and Wood counties after contamination was found in the Toledo  area. Residents there were being warned not to drink or use the water after tests revealed the presence of a toxin possibly related to algae on Lake Erie.

**Web Extra: For an explanation from Angelica Campos of what NE Ohio can expect as the growth gets larger and along with how the algal growth works, click on the video player at the bottom of this page**

According to the City of Cleveland Division of Water, the central basin of Lake Erie that supplies Cleveland Water currently does not have the degree of algal growth that the western basin does.

Division officials are confident that there will not be any problem when it comes to a water emergency in Northeast Ohio.

"Cleveland water is safe to use and drink as normal," said Jason Wood, with the Division of Public Utilities. "Toledo is located in the western basin of Lake Erie, and Cleveland is located central basin. We don't run into the same issues with algal growth that they do, and the severity of it."

Wood tells Fox 8 the lake will continue to be monitored for any changes, but he doesn't anticipate any problems here in Northeast Ohio.

"We're utilizing some satellite imagery to make sure we're not seeing signs of algae growth," he said.

Wood also said there's a buoy out on the water that sends back real-time data to the area's four water treatment plants. He said if something is found in the water, one of the first things that would happen is more powder activated carbon would be added to the water treatment process.

For updates on Cleveland-area water, click here.

For a list of tips on what to do if your water IS contaminated, click here.

For more on the state of emergency, click here.