USGS Ohio Water Science Center
What we're doing...
Estimating Microcystin Levels At Recreational Sites In Western Lake Erie And Ohio.
8/12/2016 -- A new article, published in Harmful Algae, describes a study to predict cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs) at three Ohio recreational lake sites. This is a follow-up article to a previously published USGS report. A cyanoHAB is a large growth of bacteria that produces toxins such as microcystin. Staff collected data and made water quality and environmental measurements that were used to identify factors that could be used to develop linear-regression models to estimate microcystin levels. The results of this study showed that models could be developed for estimating a microcystin threshold concentration at a recreational freshwater lake site, with potential to expand their use to provide public health information to water resource managers and the public for both recreational and drinking waters.
Ohio StreamStats Updated With Water Use Estimates.
7/11/2016 -- The popular Ohio StreamStats application has been enhanced with the ability to obtain water-use information. StreamStats is a Web-based, interactive geographic information system that permits a user to locate points of interest on streams, delineate the basin boundary, compute selected basin characteristics, and obtain estimates of a variety of streamflow statistics associated with those locations. The new capabilities allow StreamStats to provide information on average monthly and average annual water uses (including total withdrawals, returns, and net withdrawals) associated with areas draining to the selected locations. This study was done to pilot the water-use information retrieval process for Ohio and so was limited to providing information for portions of 30 counties in the northeast quadrant of Ohio where water demands have been changing rapidly. A new report describes the analytical methods and results of the pilot study.
National Drinking Water Week – May 1-7.
5/1/2016 -- Celebrate drinking water, our most precious natural resource. This Drinking Water Week, learn about Ohio drinking water from the USEPA and Ohio EPA drinking water websites. The USGS conducts human-health related research on a range of water quality topics relevant to drinking water.
Two New Reports Shed Light On Arsenic In Ohio Drinking Water.
3/7/2016 -- Arsenic is a groundwater contaminant that occurs naturally in parts of Ohio. Long-term exposure to water with high concentrations of arsenic is linked to serious health problems, including multiple types of cancer. About 1.8 million Ohioans get their drinking water from domestic wells, most of which have not been tested for arsenic. A new report on arsenic in groundwater of Licking County reveals that almost 1 in 8 domestic wells in the County had arsenic concentrations greater than the health limit of 10 micrograms per liter. Arsenic concentrations were related to the distribution of geologic deposits, so some areas were more affected than others. Similar geologic deposits exist elsewhere in the State, and these areas may also be vulnerable to contamination from natural sources of arsenic. A second report is from a study that evaluated the effectiveness of different water-treatment systems used to remove arsenic from drinking water at 11 homes in southwestern and central Ohio. The effectiveness of the treatment systems varied widely (2–90 percent), depending on (1) the quality of the raw water and (2) maintenance and (or)operation of the systems.
Water Resources Programs in Ohio
Ohio WSC Fact Sheets