The Toledo Drinking Water Advisory: Suggested Application of the Water Safety Planning Approach

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Jetoo S, Grover VI, Krantzberg G
Publisher: MDPI AG
Publication year: 2015
Journal: Sustainability
Volume number: 7
Start page: 9787
End page: 9808
Number of pages: 22
ISSN: 2071-1050
eISSN: 2071-1050


On 2 August 2014 the city of Toledo, in Ohio USA issued a do not drink water advisory and declared a state of emergency. This was as a result of elevated levels of the toxin microcystin in the final treated water, a dangerous toxin produced by the algae cyanobacteria. The Toledo water crisis is a key focusing event that can advance dialogue on eutrophication governance in the context of public health. This paper examines the Toledo water ban with the aim of determining whether this crisis could have been averted. Further, we explore how this event can be used to stimulate action on eutrophication governance, to motivate action to protect water at its source. We use the World Health Organization's Water Safety Planning Methodology to show that the crisis could have been averted with some simple risk management actions. We also show that a water safety planning approach could lead to well developed operational and maintenance planning resulting in a higher probability of safe drinking water.


drinking water advisory, Great Lakes, Toledo water, water safety planning

Last updated on 2019-13-11 at 02:47