A Great Big City

How Much Water Does Toledo Need to Stay Afloat?

Toledo waterfront
Toledo waterfront via Wikipedia

At the start of the weekend, Toledo officials notified residents to stop drinking city tap water due to possible contamination. The city's residents were left scrambling to find water sources and buying all remaining bottled water.

How much water does one person need each day?

Toledo's 500,000 residents would need a minimum of one gallon per person per day, according to Ready.gov guidelines. Finding 500,000 gallons per day is no easy task, especially if the contamination causes a prolonged ban on tap water consumption.


Image via Datrex

For emergency situations, there are products like Datrex water pouches, but this 19 pound case of water packets only provides two gallons. That's 250,000 cases needed in Toledo every day, weighing 4,750,000 pounds.


Image via Anheuser-Bush

Anheuser-Busch has a 25 year history of providing emergency canned water, and will be distributing their water during this Toledo water ban. While they have a large production ability, the 5,333,333 cans per day that Toledo would need might put a strain on any factory.

Thankfully, there are multiple agencies coming together to provide water to Toledo residents. As of August 3, 2014, the city of Toledo provided the following update:

To reassure the public as to the volume of the water being received at distribution centers, below is a snapshot of some of the water we are currently getting to distribution sites:

33,000 gallons of potable water have been produced by the Ohio National Guard
15,000 gallons in bladders (collapsible containers)
9,000 cases of water

Additional deliveries are arriving on a regular basis

Even the National Wildlife Foundation is providing water to Toledo residents.

View the City of Toledo site for distribution locations and times.

With all these disposable bottles being used, the local waste management Republic Services will be collecting overflow recycling

Update: As of August 4, 2014 - Tests of the Toledo water supply showed acceptable levels of microcystin and the ban on city drinking water has been lifted.

(Image via Wikipedia)

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