Sylvania Township residents near the Walnut Springs subdivision were notified on Wednesday that there had been elevated levels of chlorine in their drinking water two days before.
“The problem has been taken care of now,” Lucas County assistant sanitary engineer Nathaniel Inkrott said in an interview today.
According to Inkrott, the chlorine problem was discovered when a Sylvania resident called the EPA with concerns about the drinking water at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday October 4, 2020. The EPA contacted City of Toledo officials, then City of Toledo workers came out to Sylvania Township to test the water the next morning, Monday October 5.
“The chemists went out in the morning on the 5th, and did some testing, and they found high chlorine levels,” explained Inkrott. “The City of Toledo does all the water testing, it’s their water. They notified us and we sent a County crew out right away. We were out there first thing in the morning.”
Inkrott said that the County employees flushed the lines for hours.
“They stayed out there flushing the lines until it was normal,” said Inkrott. “That was probably about 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon.”
During the day that the water was known to have elevated levels of chlorine, Inkrott said that the County did not put out any alerts or take any action to notify those residents who were affected.
“The EPA just said we had to notify after it was all cleared up,” said Inkrott. “We got it cleared within hours of us being notified.”
On October 7, the County hand-delivered letters to 165 houses in the Walnut Springs area. (see below)
When asked about the cause of the elevated chlorine issue, Inkrott said that the situation was very rare, and he thought that it was due to nearby construction activities.
“I’ve been in this business for twenty-plus years and this has never happened,” Inkrott said. “It just does not happen, ever.”
Inkrott said that the company involved that may have caused the incident was Ohio Excavating.
“I think that the only cause could be that they’re doing construction there, next door in Walnut Springs, and they had connected some lines to the existing water lines, and when they do that, when they install new lines, they’re supposed to put chlorine in those lines to disinfect those lines,” Inkrott explained. “So, when they did that, then when they opened up some valves, somehow I think chlorine got back into the existing system. It’s got to be from that construction going on there.”
Inkross said they have inspectors on site and will be watching the situation.
“It was an accident, they didn’t do it on purpose. It was just a freak accident,” added Inkrott. “Ohio Excavating is one of the best around.”
Lucas County Sanitary Engineers official site:
October 7 2020
RE Water Sample Results
Dear Property Owner"
After notification of increased chlorine levels on 10-5-2020 our office performed water samples in your neighborhood. Once the collected samples were tested, we were notified that the results showed chlorine levels of 4.8 milligrams per liter. This is above the standard, or maximum residual disinfectant (MRDL) of 4.0 milligrams per liter. Chlorine is used for disinfection, but some people who use drinking water containing chlorine well in excess of the MRDL could experience irritating effects to their eyes and nose. Some people who drink water containing chlorine well in excess of the MRDL could experience stomach discomfort.
The Lucas County Sanitary Engineers have already taken corrective action by flushing all hydrants in the affected areas and verified that the chlorine level has returned to normal. The Lucas County Water System has already returned to compliance and advises consumers to run all faucets for 10 (ten) minutes using cold water to ensure complete flushing of their homes.
Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those that may not have received this notice directly.
This notice is being sent to you by the Lucas County Sanitary Engineers, State Water System ID# OH4801411.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Nathaniel L. Inkrott P.E.
Assistant Sanitary Engineer