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There is a USGS Water Science Center office in each State. Washington Oregon California Idaho Nevada Montana Wyoming Utah Colorado Arizona New Mexico North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Mississippi Michigan Indiana Ohio Kentucky Tennessee Alabama Pennsylvania West Virginia Georgia Florida Caribbean Alaska Hawaii New York Vermont New Hampshire Maine Massachusetts South Carolina North Carolina Rhode Island Virginia Connecticut New Jersey Maryland-Delaware-D.C.

Current and Past News...

Characterizing Fecal Contamination In An Urban Watershed.

Characterizing Fecal Contamination in an Urban Watershed.

2/16/2017 -- A new journal articlein Water Environment Research describes a multi-year study using microbiological and hydrological data to rank tributary stream contributions of bacteria to the Little Blue River in Independence, Missouri. USGS scientists from Ohio and Missouri characterized concentrations, loadings and yields of E. coli and microbial source tracking (MST) markers during base flow and storm events over seven years in five subbasins within Independence, as well as sources entering and leaving the city through the river. The ranking methodology used in this study may prove useful in prioritizing remediation in the different subbasins. Contact Rebecca Bushon for a copy of the article.

Widespread Plastic Pollution Found in Great Lakes Tributaries.

Widespread Plastic Pollution Found in Great Lakes Tributaries.

9/15/2016 -- Tiny pieces of harmful plastic, called microplastics, are prevalent in many rivers that flow into the Great Lakes, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Scientists with the USGS and State University of New York at Fredonia studied 107 water samples collected from 29 Great Lakes tributaries, including 9 Ohio tributaries, and found microplastics in all samples. Together, these 29 tributaries account for approximately 22 percent of the total river water that flows into the Great Lakes. Various forms of microplastics were found. Plastic fibers, from items such as synthetic clothes, diapers, and cigarette butts, were the most common type detected. The least common form found in the river water was microbeads, which are the only form banned by the United States Congress. This ban has not yet taken effect. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funded the study. ( news release, USGS microplastics website).

Estimating Microcystin Levels At Recreational Sites In Western Lake Erie And Ohio.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Characterizing Water Quality In The Muskingum Watershed.

Characterizing Water Quality In The Muskingum Watershed.

2/3/2016 -- The USGS and Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) are cooperating to characterize the surface-water quality in the eastern part of the Muskingum Watershed, where many of the largest reservoirs in the watershed are located and where shale-gas drilling is particularly focused. Water-quality and streamflow data are being collected under a variety of streamflow conditions six times at thirty sites around six of the reservoirs. Additionally, there are weather stations at the lakes, and lake and stream gages at some of the water-quality sites measure real-time lake level, stage, discharge, and (or) continuous water-quality parameters such as specific conductance and stream temperature (link to real-time gage data).

Predicting Harmful Algal Blooms.

Predicting Harmful Algal Blooms.

11/20/2015 -- new report describes a study to predict cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs) at Ohio recreational lake sites.  A cyanoHAB is a large growth of bacteria that produces toxins such as microcystin. CyanoHABs are a major water-quality issue for Lake Erie and inland lakes in Ohio.  Staff collected data and made water quality and environmental measurements that were used to identify the potential for a system to quickly estimate microcystin levels and provide advisories to swimmers and boaters. This type of system has been used at Lake Erie beaches as part of the Ohio Nowcast for predicting E. coli concentrations, but has not been tested for cyanoHAB predictions.  The results of this study showed that water-quality and environmental factors are promising for use in site-specific models for cyanoHAB predictions.

Striving To Prevent Reservoir Taste And Odor Issues.

Striving To Prevent Reservoir Taste And Odor Issues.

9/28/2015 -- The City of Columbus and the USGS are collaborating on a synoptic survey of the lower portion of Hoover Reservoir to better understand factors that could affect taste and odor issues. The study includes measuring and mapping the bathymetry, water velocity, and selected water-quality characteristics during separate extended releases from two different release valves at the Reservoir to Big Walnut Creek. The results from the study will provide the City with information needed to make more informed decisions on reservoir releases.

Village Of La Rue Better Prepared For Floods.

Village Of La Rue Better Prepared For Floods.

9/28/2015 -- New digital flood-inundation maps for a 3-mile reach of the Scioto River through flood-prone La Rue, Ohio, are available at the USGS Flood Inundation Mapper and are described in a new report. The maps show estimates of the areal extent and depth of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (stages) at the Scioto River at La Rue streamgage. The availability of these maps, along with information regarding current stage from the USGS streamgage and forecasted high-flow stages from the National Weather Service, will provide emergency management personnel and residents with information that is critical for flood response activities such as evacuations and road closures.

Predicting The Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Stream Water Quality.

Predicting the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Stream Water Quality.

8/21/2015 -- A new report describes an automated nowcast system that quickly estimates water-quality conditions seven days a week at one site along the Cuyahoga River within the national park. Nowcasts provide estimates of the current bacterial water-quality conditions based on predictive models using easily measured explanatory variables; the Cuyahoga River Nowcast has been operational since 2009. Traditionally, daily manual collection and processing of samples was required in order to acquire the required explanatory-variable data. The USGS and National Park Service collaborated on this updated nowcast with the goal of finding the most efficient and cost-effective way to provide the public with information needed to make informed recreational-use decisions.

Groundwater Quality In Geauga County.

Groundwater Quality in Geauga County.

8/11/2015 -- Domestic wells that are not safeguarded by regular water-quality testing provide drinking water for 79 percent of the residents of Geauga County, in northeastern Ohio. The USGS worked cooperatively with the county to monitor the groundwater quality during 1978 through 2009. In 2009, 41 of the constituents analyzed for had human-health benchmarks to which results could be compared. Benchmarks were exceeded at varying frequencies for arsenic, total coliform bacteria, fecal coliform bacteria, and sodium. Methane was detected at low concentrations in water from 19 percent of sampled wells. The primary effect of human activities on groundwater quality was found to be the input of salinity, primarily from road salt. From 1978 to 1999, there were no consistent temporal trends for many of the constituents; instead, the fluctuations in concentration represent natural variation. A new report describes the status of groundwater in 2009 and changes in the water from 1978 to 2009.

Water Quality At The Edge Of Field.

Water Quality At The Edge Of Field.

7/17/2015 -- As part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), an effort is in progress to better understand the effect of differing agricultural practices on the quantity and quality of runoff water from farms. This effort includes surface runoff from the edges of fields and discharge from subsurface drains, as well as the effect of this water on streams receiving the runoff. In the Eagle Creek subwatershed of northwestern Ohio, a streamgage and continuous water-quality monitor collect continuous data at Eagle Creek above Findlay (04188496). In addition, water samples are being collected for analysis of nutrients (forms of nitrogen and phosphorus) at the Eagle Creek above Findlay site as well as a subsurface drain tile from a field (405051083391001), and a waterway (405051083391201).

Lower Muskingum Better Prepared For Floods.

Lower Muskingum Better Prepared For Floods.

5/20/2015 -- New flood-inundation maps and an updated flood-warning system will help communities along the Lower Muskingum River (from Marietta to McConnelsville) and a reach of the Ohio River prepare and plan for floods. These digital maps show water inundation areas and water-depth information, and they will allow emergency officials and the public to see which roadways and properties will be affected by predicted flood levels. Since the Flood of 1913 (video), seven Ohio River floods have met or exceeded a stage of 40 feet and severely affected Marietta. Creation of the flood-warning system was a collaboration among the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, the City of Marietta, the USGS Ohio WSC, and the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio (news release and USGS report).

Healthy And Safe Swimming Is A Click Away.

Healthy and Safe Swimming is a Click Away.

5/15/2015 -- Before you head out to the beach, check the water quality. The USGS Ohio Water Science Center has partnered with many agencies to develop “Nowcast” systems at eight beaches along Lake Erie and one Cuyahoga River site in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Nowcasts provide near-real-time estimates of water quality to the beach-going public 5 to 7 days each week. Additionally, the Ohio BeachGuard provides water quality advisory information from the Ohio Nowcast and for other public and semi-private beaches on a regular basis (often every other week). Make a Healthy Splash: Share the Fun, not the Germs! May 18-24 is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week, but you can be fun and safe all summer long.

Groundwater: Become Aware Of This Magical Resource.

Groundwater: Become Aware Of This Magical Resource.

3/3/2015 -- In 1861 the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that groundwater was too secret and occult to be adjudicated by law, and water witching was a common method to identify groundwater (USGS Report, 1917). Though not of the occult, groundwater is a hidden resource that in Ohio provides drinking water to about 4.8 million people.  Naturally occurring contaminants in Ohio groundwater can include microorganisms, radon, and arsenic. Contamination can also be caused or made worse by human activities, including releases of gasoline hydrocarbons and solvents, application of fertilizers, and septic-tank leachate. More information on groundwater and Groundwater Awareness Week can be found at the National Ground Water Association, Wellowner.org, and the USGS Groundwater Information Pages.

Water Quality In Grand Lake St. Marys.

Water Quality In Grand Lake St. Marys.

2/3/2015 -- Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs) can produce toxins harmful to humans and deadly to fish and pets. CyanoHABs have become common in Ohio’s Grand Lake St. Marys, the largest manmade lake in Ohio and also a state park. A recent USGS report describes findings from 11 sets of water-quality samples at six lake sites during 2011-2012. Samples were analyzed for concentrations of a suite of chemical constituents, chlorophyll, and microcystin and to determine plankton community structure and abundance. Molecular methods showed Planktothrix to be the dominant cyanobacterial genus. Molecular method results were also correlated to other water-quality constituents. Other cyanoHAB research underway at the USGS Ohio Water Science Center includes relating toxins in the sediment with bloom occurrence and predicting cyanoHABs at inland lakes and along Lake Erie Beaches. More information on cyanobacterial blooms in Ohio as well as USGS cyanotoxin research can be found on the web.

National Water Use At Lowest Level Since Before 1970.

National Water Use At Lowest Level Since Before 1970.

11/20/2014 -- Water use across the country reached its lowest recorded level in nearly 45 years. According to the newly released report Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2010 and as described on the USGS Water Use webpage, about 355 billion gallons of water per day (Bgal/d) were withdrawn for use in the United States during 2010. Ohio ranked 12th in State total withdrawals, with 68 percent of withdrawals in Ohio used for thermoelectric power. The USGS compiles and disseminates the Nation's water-use data, including a report every 5 years. (news release)

Paddlers And Anglers Rely On USGS Data.

Paddlers and Anglers Rely on USGS Data.

10/14/2014 -- Data from streamgages are vital for managing catastrophes such as floods—but month after month, the top consumers of USGS streamgage data in Ohio are paddlers and anglers. Gage data inform anglers whether the water is a suitable temperature and flow for fishing. Before paddlers head out, they can check whether there is enough or too much water to safely and enjoyably canoe or kayak.  Use USGS WaterWatch to view real-time streamflow data, USGS WaterNow to query a USGS streamgage via email or text messaging, and USGS WaterAlert to be alerted when certain parameters such as gage height exceed user-defined thresholds. There are also many third-party smart phone apps and websites that access USGS real-time water data. In Ohio, the more popular gages for recreational purposes (fishing and/or paddling) include the Grand River near Painesville, Rocky River near Berea, Chagrin River at Willoughby, Mad River near Urbana, and the Little Miami River at Milford.

Protect Your Groundwater Day – September 9, 2014.

Protect Your Groundwater Day - September 9, 2014.

9/9/2014 -- Of all the usable freshwater on Earth, 99 percent is stored in underground aquifers. Even if you get your drinking water from a reservoir, most surface-water bodies are connected to groundwater through the hydrologic cycle. Protect groundwater by keeping it safe from contamination, and use it wisely. More information on groundwater and Protect Your Groundwater Day can be found at the National Ground Water Association and USGS Groundwater Information Pages.

Monitoring Quantity And Quality Of Water.

Monitoring Quantity And Quality Of Water.

9/2/2014 -- You can’t manage what you don’t measure. In the Scioto Watershed, two new streamgages in Columbus and an updated streamgage including a new rain gage in flood-prone LaRue will be part of new flood-warning systems to help both municipalities better prepare and plan for floods. In the Maumee Watershed, four new streamgages and seven new automatic water-quality samplers were installed. These automatic samplers can be programmed to collect water-quality samples at predetermined time intervals or when certain water-level and discharge thresholds are reached; data from the analyzed samples will be used to quantify the daily, seasonal, and annual nutrient and sediment loads. Increased knowledge of a stream’s water quality can lead to more effective resource management, including decisions on drinking-water treatment and recreational uses, and assessment of aquatic habitat.

Before Swimming Or Paddling, Check The Water Quality.

Before Swimming Or Paddling, Check The Water Quality.

6/18/2014 -- Each morning, beach managers post advisories stating whether water quality at the beach is predicted to be poor or good that day based on the Ohio Nowcast. Nowcasts predict whether E. coli bacterial levels in the water are within the water quality standard and acceptable for swimming. Nowcasts are based on real-time beach specific variables such as turbidity (cloudiness of the water), recent rainfall, and wind conditions. Traditional analytical method takes 18-24 hours to complete and can lead to erroneous assessments of public-health risk because it relies on “yesterday’s” E. coli and water quality conditions may have changed.  As described in a recent USGS report, nowcasts are being developed or improved at over 40 beaches around the Great Lakes. Safe swimming!

Before Swimming Or Paddling, Check The Water Quality.

Before Swimming Or Paddling, Check The Water Quality.

6/18/2014 -- Each morning, beach managers post advisories stating whether water quality at the beach is predicted to be poor or good that day based on the Ohio Nowcast. Nowcasts predict whether E. coli bacterial levels in the water are within the water quality standard and acceptable for swimming. Nowcasts are based on real-time beach specific variables such as turbidity (cloudiness of the water), recent rainfall, and wind conditions. Traditional analytical method takes 18-24 hours to complete and can lead to erroneous assessments of public-health risk because it relies on “yesterday’s” E. coli and water quality conditions may have changed.  As described in a recent USGS report, nowcasts are being developed or improved at over 40 beaches around the Great Lakes. Safe swimming!

Licking County Now More Prepared For Floods.

Licking County Now More Prepared For Floods.

3/20/2014 -- A new flood warning system is available to help Licking County, Ohio, better prepare and plan for floods. The USGS and National Weather Service, along with seven local, county, regional, and State agencies partnered to create digital flood inundation maps for portions of the Licking River Watershed. These maps will allow emergency officials, planners, homeowners and businesses see which roadways and properties will be impacted by predicted flood levels. These maps will supplement river observations and flood forecasts from the well-established USGS streamgaging network and NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services. The maps are available at (http://water.weather.gov/ahps/inundation.php) and at (http://wim.usgs.gov/FIMI) and more information on flood inundation mapping for Licking County can be found in the USGS report.

National Groundwater Awareness Week – March 9-15, 2014

Wells are used to access groundwater.

3/9/2014 -- Why is the river flowing if it has not been raining? Where does the farmer get all that water for irrigating the crops? Where does my drinking water come from? Groundwater could be the answer. Excluding the glaciers and polar icecaps, 95 percent of the freshwater in the world is groundwater. Groundwater is the water that seeps into the ground and fills the spaces and cracks in the rocks below the surface. It is not typically an underground river or lake. Learn more about groundwater and USGS groundwater studies at the USGS Water Science School and USGS Groundwater Information Pages. National Groundwater Awareness Week is sponsored by the National Ground Water Association and many partners. 

Learning To Predict Beach Water Quality.

Learning To Predict Beach Water Quality.

3/3/2014 -- The USGS Ohio Water Science Center hosted the “Third Interagency Workshop to Develop Predictive Models for Beaches” on February 25-26.   Instructors were from the USGS, USEPA, University of Toledo, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Students were a mix of local and state beach managers, consultants, and USGS scientists from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, and Kansas.  Students learned how to develop “nowcasts” using datasets from their own beaches.  Nowcasts  inform the public of current bacterial water-quality conditions on the basis of predictive models.  Learn more about using predictive models for recreational water quality.

Winter Streamflow And Water-Quality Sampling.

Winter Streamflow And Water-Quality Sampling.

2/11/2014 -- During the winter, many of Ohio’s waterways become ice affected. Extreme cold weather can temporarily cause a variety of problems that result in erroneous gage heights and[or] streamflow values reported on NWIS. When streams ice over, streamgagers estimate the part of the record that is ice affected by using discharge measurements at the site, hydrographic comparison with other sites in the same drainage basin, weather records for the area, and weekly notes taken by an observer. Alternative water-quality sampling protocols may need to be implemented, as occurred recently at the ice-affected Maumee River at Waterville, Ohio.

Is The Algae Bloom Toxic?

Is the Algae Bloom Toxic?

2/7/2014 -- Toxic cyanobacterial blooms (toxic algae—or—harmful algal blooms (HABs)) can affect drinking water, water-based recreation, and water­shed ecology. Because cyanbacterial blooms include strains that can produce toxins as well as strains that cannot, a method that can differentiate between toxin producers and toxin nonproducers is needed. An experimental molecular-based method was tested and optimized for monitoring cyanobacterial blooms and is described in a new report. Water samples were collected from Maumee Bay State Park, Ohio, and analyzed for selected cyanobacteria gene sequences by DNA-based qPCR and RNA-based qRT-PCR. Results were compared to microcystin concentrations determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). These molecular assays may be used in future research projects to better under­stand cyanobacterial blooms and potentially to create an early warning system that can be used at recreational beaches.

Budget Cuts Affect Surface-Water Stations.

12/26/2013 -- Eight surface-water stations in Ohio will be or have recently been discontinued (map and information). Owing to a loss of local funding, five streamgages in Summit County and one streamgage in Cuyahoga County are slated for discontinuation in January 2014.  Although some stations, such as the recently discontinued Huff Run water-quality station in Tuscarawas County, successfully serve a particular short-term project, many other water-quality stations and streamgages were established for long-term monitoring.

Instant Bacteria Forecasts Make Swimmers At Great Lakes Beaches Safer.

Instant Bacteria Forecasts Make Swimmers at Great Lakes Beaches Safer.

11/25/2013 -- Rapid, highly accurate water-quality predictions can help better prevent recreationalists from getting sick at Great Lakes beaches, according to a new USGS report.

USGS scientists and partners tested the performance of near-real-time water-quality assessments known as nowcasts at 42 Great Lakes beaches in 2012. According to the new report, the nowcasts perform better than the current method of predicting beach water-quality because they work faster and are more accurate. For more information on nowcasts, please visit the USGS Ohio Water Science Center website on beach monitoring research. (news release)

Buckeye Quads Released.

11/13/2013 -- Newly designed US Topo maps for Ohio, featuring the Public Land Survey System, are now available online for free download. The 748 updated digital US Topo maps are designed to look like the traditional paper topographic maps for which the USGS is so well known while providing modern technical advantages, including the ability to either view or hide contours, hydrographic features, and other data layers that make up the maps. ( news release)

Low Flow Or Small Stream? Still Important Data.

Low Flow Or Small Stream? Still Important Data.

11/8/2013 -- A large, flooding stream may rightfully garner attention, but small streams and low flows are important as well. The crest-stage gage website shows Ohio’s network of crest-stage gages which provide peak-flow data on small streams with small drainage areas­. Small streams are typically underrepresented in datasets used for flood-related planning and emergency response. Additionally, as shown on the Ohio low-flow network website, information obtained from low-flow conditions in streams aid in design of water-treatment plants, planning for water supply, evaluating instream flow requirements, and permitting of water withdrawals.

Protect Your Groundwater Day - September 10, 2013.

Protect Your Groundwater Day - September 10, 2013.

9/4/2013 -- Where has the water in your faucet been? Even if your drinking water comes from a reservoir, most surface-water bodies are connected to groundwater through the hydrologic cycle. Protect groundwater by using it wisely and keeping it safe from contamination. Contamination can be caused by human activities such as improper use of fertilizers and poor septic-system maintenance. Groundwater studies at the USGS Ohio Water Science Center include evaluating the effectiveness of green infrastructure such as rain gardens, long-term monitoring of groundwater quality and groundwater levels, and investigating concentrations of naturally occurring arsenic in Ohio groundwater. More information on groundwater, water wells, and Protect Your Groundwater Day can be found at the National Ground Water Association, Wellowner.org, and the USGS Groundwater Information Pages.

Assessing Stream Quality Of The Corn Belt.

Assessing Stream Quality Of The Corn Belt.

8/29/2013 -- What are the most important stressors to stream ecology? The Midwest Stream-Quality Assessment (MSQA) is characterizing contaminants, nutrients, sediment, and ecological conditions at 100 perennial-stream sites throughout the Corn Belt, including seven sites in Ohio. Results will be assessed for seasonal and spatial differences, as well as the relations between stressors and ecological conditions; it is hoped that the findings will enable prediction of water-quality conditions in unsampled streams across the region. The MSQA is a collaboration between the USGS, USEPA, and other partners, and is a component of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program.

Explore America's Larger Streams With Streamer.

Explore America's Larger Streams With Streamer.

7/17/2013 -- Click on a stream to trace it from that point upstream to its source or downstream to where the stream empties. Learn the cities and states your stream passes through and the names of the upstream or downstream water bodies. You can also link to all the USGS streamgages along the route. Streamer is a new product of the National Atlas.

Before Paddling, Check The Water Quality.

NowCast2013_CVNP_riverPicture.

6/24/2013 -- Before paddling, check the water quality. Seven days a week, automated river water-quality forecasts for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) in northeastern Ohio are available online . U.S. Geological Survey scientists, in collaboration with the National Park Service, have developed a system to quickly forecast bacteria levels and estimate water-quality conditions at a site along the Cuyahoga River within the CVNP. Results are automatically posted on the Ohio Nowcast website, which also hosts nowcasts for several Lake Erie bathing beaches. USGS scientists found that the best factors to estimate E. coli levels at the Cuyahoga River site were turbidity (or cloudiness) of the water, as measured from a USGS water-quality monitor and rainfall totals from the National Weather Service within the last 48 hours. This information not only can help recreationalists plan river trips but also will better inform park managers.

Interagency Cooperation Recognized.

Interagency Cooperation Recognized.

5/20/2013 -- Kimberly Shaffer and Donna Runkle, Hydrologists with the U.S. Geological Survey, Ohio Water Science Center, were presented with the Cooperative Interagency Recognition Award for the Ohio Silver Jackets 1913 Flood Awareness Campaign. The 2013 Federal Executive Association, who presented the award, said that the campaign promoted awareness of flood hazards and mitigation strategies using the 1913 Flood as a point of focus and comparison. For the campaign, the USGS prepared and distributed a news release, "New Water Science Tools Help Communities Prepare for Floods: Commemorating the Great Flood of 1913," a video about the devastating 1913 flood, and other material available on the Silver Jackets 1913 flood website. The Ohio Silver Jackets team includes 11 Federal and 22 State and local partners: "many agencies, one solution".

Comparing Rapid And Culture Indicator Bacteria Methods.

Comparing Rapid And Culture Indicator Bacteria Methods.

5/6/2013 -- At 3 inland lake beaches in Ohio concentrations of indicator bacteria by culture were compared to concentrations by a rapid analytical method, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). All of the qPCR results exceeded the new U.S. EPA beach action values (BAVs) for Enterococcus spp. by qPCR, whereas only 23.7% of culture results for E. coli and 79% of culture results for enterococci exceeded the current standard for E. coli or BAV for enterococci. The authors conclude that replacing current E. coli standards with BAVs for enterococci by culture or qPCR may result in more advisories being posted at inland recreational lakes. Results of the study were published in an article in the journal Lake and Reservoir Management.

What Do You Know About H20?

What Do You Know About H20?

5/5/2013 -- Less than 1 percent of the Earth’s water is suitable for drinking water.  Do you know where your Ohio drinking water comes from and its quality?  The USGS conducts research on a range of drinking water quality topics.  Drinking Water Week is May 5-11 and is sponsored by the American Water Works Association.

Measuring The Flow: The Importance And Uses Of Streamflow Information.

Measuring The Flow: The Importance And Uses Of Streamflow Information.

3/29/2013 -- Everyone in society benefits from reliable streamflow information used for flood warnings, drinking-water management, bridge design, recreation, and much more. USGS works in partnership with more than 850 Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies and collects streamflow data at more than 8,000 streamgages nationwide. Learn more in this two part USGS Science Top Story: Measuring the Flow, part 1: The Importance of Streamgages and Measuring the Flow, part 2: Uses of Streamflow Information. The USGS remains dedicated to providing its stakeholders and the public with continuous, well-documented, well- archived, unbiased, reliable, and consistent streamflow information.

Commemorating The Past, Anticipating Our Future.

3/18/2013 -- The March 1913 flood remains Ohio’s Greatest Natural Disaster. The flood affected many communities— no river in Ohio or in most of Indiana remained in its banks. In Ohio more than 40,000 homes were flooded, and more than 400 people died. In the flood’s aftermath, Miami River watershed residents were asked to "remember the promises you made in the attic" as they were encouraged to build an expansive flood-control system. Efforts over the past 100 years have led to improvements in floodplain conservation, flood-control projects, flood-warning systems, emergency response, and disaster-recovery programs. The USGS now operates a network of real-time streamflow and stage gages that are used to monitor water level and flow, in part to help minimize or mitigate flood damages (streamgaging podcast). Even so, flooding remains Ohio’s greatest natural threat. National Flood Safety Awareness Week (March 18–22, 2013) aims to highlight some of the ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and things people can do to save life and property. (Silver Jackets news release; USGS news release)

National Groundwater Awareness Week – March 10-16, 2013.

National Ground Water Awareness Week – March 10-16, 2013.

3/10/2013 -- What can sinkholes and drinking water have in common? Groundwater. In Ohio, about 4.8 million people drink groundwater supplied by public water systems or private wells. Scientists at the USGS Ohio Water Science Center study or monitor groundwater and the paths the water takes in the ground. Groundwater around the United States is susceptible to contamination, but locations differ as to the movement and (or) fate of contaminants and the vulnerability of wells. (examples around the US). Groundwater pumping is one human-induced way that sinkholes form.  Sinkholes  are most common in karst areas of Ohio and many other states where rocks such as evaporites (salt, gypsum, and anhydrite) and carbonates (limestone and dolomite) can be dissolved by the water traveling through them. Drinking water and sinkholes— just two reasons why groundwater awareness is important to you!

USGS Marks 134 years Of Science For America: A Most Unusual Birthday.

USGS Marks 134 years of Science for America: A Most Unusual Birthday.

3/3/2013 -- For 134 years the USGS has served our Nation by providing reliable scientific information that can be used in many different ways: to describe and understand the Earth; to minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; to manage water, ecosystem, energy, and mineral resources; and to enhance and protect our quality of life. (more)

With The Click Of A Mouse, Estimated Streamflow Statistics For Ohio.

With The Click Of A Mouse, Estimated Streamflow Statistics For Ohio.

2/8/2013 -- Ohio StreamStats makes estimating streamflow statistics and computing watershed characteristics for ungaged sites faster, easier, and more reproducible than was possible with previously used manual methods. To address the needs for estimating selected low-flow statistics at ungaged locations, Ohio StreamStats has been enhanced as described in a new report. Ohio StreamStats users can now estimate a variety of low-flow statistics in addition to the peak flow, mean annual flow, mean monthly flow, and selected flow-duration statistics that previously were available. StreamStats has an assortment of analytical tools that are useful for water-resources planning and management.

The Silver Jackets - An Ongoing National Flood Response.

The Silver Jackets - An Ongoing National Flood Response.

2/4/2013 -- The Silver Jacket teams of Ohio and Indiana, with support of the Midwest Regional Climate Center, have launched a Silver Jackets "Flood of 1913" website. The site is packed with historical information on the storm, as well as current-day tips on flood preparedness, mitigation, and more.

Public outcry after the landmark flood of 1913 event helped drive the creation of many of the Federal, state, and local flood prevention and education efforts we rely on today. In the spirit of collaboration, the Silver Jackets program assembles teams of local, state, and Federal agencies, including the USGS, to work on state-initiated flood preparedness, warning, and response projects.
 

New Report Compares Filtration Methods For Concentrating Microorganisms In Lake Water.

USGS scientist filtering lake water through the NanoCeram filter.

1/25/2013 -- To evaluate public health risk and to make bathing-beach closure and advisory decisions, indicator bacteria, such as E. coli, are used. Beaches are seldom monitored for the pathogens themselves.  To better ascertain the occurrence of pathogens at beaches, the USGS and EPA collaborated on a  study of methods that can simultaneously filter and concentrate pathogens in lake-water samples.  The study concluded that different filtration methods worked best for individual microorganisms; however, the automatic ultrafiltration method resulted in the highest recovery while maintaining low variability for the nine microorganisms studied.  This method was used to demonstrate that filtration can be scaled up to the collection of 200-liter lake-water samples.  Results from the study are being published as “Comparison of filters for concentrating microbial indicators and pathogens in lake-water samples,” a report that will appear in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology in March 2013 (vol. 79, issue 4) and is available ahead of print.

Where Were the Year’s Floods?

Real time streamflow, as percentage of normal. Red = low; green = normal; blue = much above normal; black = high.

1/4/2013 -- Use WaterWatch to quickly build an animated interactive map  showing real-time streamflow or floods in the United States from 2003 to present. Was it really a dry summer in the Midwest? Where were the spring floods? WaterWatch is a USGS Web site that displays maps, graphs, and tables describing real-time, recent, and past streamflow conditions for the United States.



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