Water quality

lake erie

The state is spending nearly $200 million to improve and protect Ohio's water quality.

Gov. Mike DeWine encouraged a large group of farmers to keep participating in the program, saying they have a specific indicator to determine if their plan is reducing harmful algal blooms. 

DeWine urged the legislature to make a long-term investment into water quality efforts.

The end result was the H2Ohio collaborative which included $172 million in resources and aid.

Lake Erie algal bloom

A state commission is asking people to comment on its latest plan to protect and restore Lake Erie. 

The first priority area listed in the Ohio Lake Erie Commission’s 2-year plan is reducing nutrient pollution. That’s a type of contamination mostly from farm fertilizer and manure, and it leads to toxic algal blooms.

Springfield Lake

The village of Lakemore issued an advisory about harmful algal blooms on Springfield Lake.

Recent heavy rain caused more ground water runoff into the lake, which adds nutrients to the water and encourages algae growth. The algae produce toxins.

Summit County’s director of environmental health, Tonia Burford, says people should avoid contact with the water and be sure not to swallow it because that can lead to health problems.

a photo of Lake Erie shoreline

Now that the budget is signed, Gov. Mike DeWine said he’s already thinking about how to pay for water quality in Lake Erie after that two-year budget cycle ends.

DeWine wanted to front-load funding for clean Lake Erie initiatives by creating the H2Ohio Fund and putting $900 million in for the next decade.

Instead, lawmakers put $172 million in for the next two years. DeWine said he wants to take any surplus funds, which have been going to the state’s rainy day fund, and put those funds towards Lake Erie.

Photo of Lake Erie

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, June 24:

Lake Erie Hits Highest Average Levels Since 1918

Jun 11, 2019
View of Lake Erie

Lake Erie has been breaking water level records over the past month. In May, the lake hit its highest average monthly water level since 1918.

Scott Hardy is an extension educator for the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. He says the lake is about 30 inches above normal and while water level change is a natural cycle, recent research shows that climate change has contributed.

Traffic picture of tornado near I-75

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, May 29: 

IanSkylake17 Shutterstock

In his State of the State speech last week, Gov. Mike DeWine proposed a new initiative intended to prioritize clean and safe water. 

He’s now giving more details about what he's calling the H-2-Ohio fund. It would become a permanent source of revenue for any challenges that comes the state’s way related to water quality.  

From harmful algal blooms to failing septic systems to lead contamination, Mike DeWine wants the state to be prepared for any water crisis that might come its way.

Elizabeth Miller

A new report from the International Joint Commission, a bi-national agency, says the Great Lakes restoration continues to progress -- but not quickly enough.

The commission makes several recommendations to the U.S. and Canada, as part of a review of a 2012 water quality agreement.

Among them is evaluating farm practices aimed at reducing pollution –- especially the fertilizer runoff that feeds algae blooms in Lake Erie. 

photo of Lake Erie

A new online water quality report shows the types of chemicals that may be in your drinking water, and  offers suggestions on how to filter them out.

The interactive report allows users to enter a zip code and see which water systems serve a given area, and what contaminants were found in the study by the non-partisan non-profit, Environmental Working Group. The organization gathered data for two years and then asked water systems to check it for accuracy.

photo of Sandusky Bay

Ohio’s state government is reaching outside Columbus as Gov. John Kasich prepares to deliver his annual State of the State speech tomorrow in Sandusky.

This is the sixth time Kasich has moved the governor’s State of the State speech out of Columbus. The administration says it's a way of bringing state government to the people.

Street Front, Scio, Ohio
Mark Pitcavage / unearthedohio.com

Most of Scio, a village about 40 miles southeast of Canton, can drink the water again.  

Too much manganese was detected in the water supply and a drinking ban involving two dozen streets was issued a week.  But levels have dropped in most of the affected area, and the ban has been cut by two thirds. 

The Ohio EPA monitors drinking-water quality state wide.  Heidi Griesmer is deputy director of the agency for communications.

Ohio Expands Water-Quality Monitoring

Jul 13, 2016
Dr. Justin Chaffin, Stone Lab
Stone Lab Camera / cfaes.osu.edu

Algae and water quality issues in Ohio affect—and are affected by--more than Lake Erie and the big reservoirs.