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Sylvania officials shut off water as precaution during Toledo crisis

Sylvania's water station Sylvania's water station
SYLVANIA, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Sylvania residents want to know if the city had a backup water system with clean water that could have been used during the crisis.

Sylvania city officials say as soon as they heard about a possible contamination of the water from Toledo, they shut the valves off at Sylvania pump stations. They say safety is their top priority, so they weren't going to declare any water safe until they knew for sure.

"Our system was fairly full at that time," said Sylvania Director of Public Service Kevin Aller. "Our tanks were in pretty good shape, as far as how much water we had in them, and so we were able to operate off of that for about a day."

But they wanted to make sure they got test results back before informing Sylvania residents that the water was safe to use. They do have a backup pump, used when the city's water demands are too high for just one pump, but the water there comes from Toledo, as well, so it was also at risk of being contaminated.

"The water that we had, and the water that we were receiving, was safe as far as that goes, but we didn't know that for certain until we got those results back on Monday afternoon," Aller said.

He says city officials had to take the safe road for residents and could not just assume the water was safe.

"Once your supplier says, ‘We have possible contamination. Don't consume the water,' we have to take that seriously," said Aller.

Sylvania officials say they don't want residents to think that they knew their water was safe the whole time, because they didn't know that for a fact. 

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