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

Savitri Jetoo, VI Grover, G Krantzberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)9787–9808
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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

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