The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that Western Lake Erie will experience a significant Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) this summer. Oregon’s Harmful Algal Bloom infrastructure improvement project will be ready to make sure microcystin, a toxin released from HAB, does not get into the water supply.

The $15 million project, which will treat water with ozone, has been under construction at the water treatment plant for months. It will be completed this summer.


The ozone equipment is being installed right now,” said Public Service Director Paul Roman. “Once it’s in, we’ll be doing a test run.”

The ozone treatment of water promises to be very effective in treating microcystin, the toxic algae that caused a two day tap water ban in Toledo in 2014. Ozone treatment will also improve disinfection and treatment of other organics, as well as lower disinfection byproducts from chlorination, which will have the added benefit of improving the taste of drinking water for Oregon water customers.

“If you look at a lot of other communities that go with ozone treatment of water, they do it for odor and taste. With us, that is clearly a benefit to it. But we went with it because it destroys microcystin,” said Roman.

Though Oregon was not affected by the microcystin that shut down Toledo’s tap water, it has taken a very proactive approach to improving water quality in the last several years. 

“We’re lucky,” said Mayor Mike Seferian. “The ozone treatment will be completed this season. We really wanted to get it done in case there was a bad microcystin year. The ozone will obliterate that. It will take out the risk of us worrying if the algal bloom is horrendous, and having to worry about the water being undrinkable. With ozone, that’s not a possibility. It’s the latest and greatest technology.”

Fewer chemicalsThe project consists of applying ozone to settled water and modifying filters for Biologic Active Filtration (BAF). Ozone breaks up contaminants into very small particles, which are so small that the city’s filtration system was not enough to properly remove those contaminants from the water. BAF, which goes hand in hand with ozone, is the use of natural microorganisms that will remove the contaminants and further oxidize and remove material from the water. 
Ozone treatment will also lower Trihalomethanes (TMHs), a byproduct of chlorine, which is used to disinfect the water. Some studies have shown TMHs, in higher concentrations, can cause adverse health effects, including cancer.

“With ozone, we’re going to use less chlorine, and because of that, we’ll have less Trihalomethanes issues so that’s a good thing,” said Roman.  

“The amount of chemicals we will have to add before it gets to your house will be lessened dramatically,” added Seferian.

“Our water,” said Roman, “will be an overall better product. It’s definitely the way to go,” said Roman.

Short delayRoman said there was a short delay in getting the ozone equipment, but the filters are already installed.

“The new filters are online. They’re in service,” said Roman. “We’ll have better filtration than we had before. But the ozone equipment is at the plant and is just being installed now. And we’re hoping to get things running a lot further in the next two to three weeks.”

The goal was to be up and running by the end of July, he said. 

“We had these delays in getting the ozone generator. Getting that equipment is where we had delays. We were about a month behind getting that equipment. So we’re catching up. We’re close. We’re in pretty good shape.”

The project is being funded with a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC), and a 0 percent loan through the Ohio EPA from its Water Supply Revolving Loan Account Fund. The loan will be paid over 20 years with a capital improvement charge that will be included in consumers’ water bills.

“It will be just like our wastewater plant expansion. We will establish a capital improvement charge that will basically pay for the loan. A lot of people look at it as a rate increase. But it will come off the bill once the loan is paid. That is a little different from how other communities do it. We’re putting this charge on to pay our financing for the project. Also, we have a lot more water users than sewer users. And we have a lot of industries that are big water users. So that helps bring that price down for that capital improvement charge,” said Roman.



Did you watch any of the TV coverage of President George H.W. Bush?
573389591 [{"id":"299","title":"Yes. He was a great president.","votes":"16","pct":39.02,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"300","title":"No. I didn't care much for him as president.","votes":"14","pct":34.15,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"301","title":"No. I was busy.","votes":"11","pct":26.83,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /component/communitypolls/vote/109-bush No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...