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USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.

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.

Past News... (2012)

USGS Crews Survey Sandy’s Devastation.

USGS Crews Survey Sandy’s Devastation.

11/13/2012 -- In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, USGS crews from 15 states including Ohio traveled to the east coast to collect data such as high-water marks before they disappear or are removed (photos).  A recent Wall Street Journal article describes the fieldwork. The high-water marks, most commonly in the form of mudlines, seedlines, or debris lines, can be found on a variety of structures such as trees and buildings. High-water marks are used to document and provide insight into the dynamics of the flood. The USGS continues efforts to retrieve, map, and make available storm-related data on coastal change, water quality, and flooding.

GIS Day 2012: Every Map Has A Story.

GIS Day 2012: Every map has a story.

11/17/2012 -- Celebrated around the world during Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 11-17), GIS Day (November 14th) showcases geospatial thinking and geospatial technology and GIS’s power to increase understanding of the world. A GIS is a Geographic Information System, a combination of computer software, hardware, and data that allows a user to analyze, manipulate, present, and store information tied to a spatial location. There are hundreds of GIS Day events around the globe. The GIS Day celebration in Toledo, Ohio, will include a USGS presentation from geographer Charley Hickman on The National Map and online availability of new and historical USGS topographic quadrangle maps.

Celebrate Earth Science Week – October 14-20, 2012.

Celebrate Earth Science Week – October 14-20, 2012.

10/14/2012 -- “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences” is the theme for this year’s Earth Science Week. The USGS is a longstanding partner in this annual international event sponsored by the American Geological Institute.  Earth Science Week promotes responsible stewardship of the Earth and encourages children and adults alike to explore the geosciences. There are many Earth Science Week events in Ohio and throughout the world open to the public.

Ohio’s Greatest Natural Disaster - New Video.

9/19/2012 -- The March 1913 statewide flood remains Ohio’s Greatest Natural Disaster (video). More than 40,000 homes were flooded, and more than 400 people died. Warning of the unprecedented rain and imminent flooding was limited primarily to word-of-mouth, church bells, and police sirens. In the aftermath of the 1913 flood, State and Federal funds were allocated for the installation of a streamgage network to monitor the water level and flow of Ohio's rivers and streams.  “May it never happen again.

The Magic Of Groundwater.

The Magic Of Groundwater.

9/10/2012 -- 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 (more). Though USGS published reports in 1917 and more recently in 1977  discredited water witching, the properties of groundwater continue to be misunderstood by many people. Groundwater contamination can occur because the composition of groundwater reflects the environment in which it travels.  Naturally occurring contaminants in groundwater can include microorganisms, radionuclides, and heavy metals such as arsenic. USGS scientists in Ohio are investigating arsenic concentrations in domestic wells as part of a broader effort to understand which parts of the groundwater system are most vulnerable to contamination from naturally occurring arsenic. Contamination can also be caused by human activities. More information on groundwater, water wells, and Protect Your Groundwater Day can be found at the National Ground Water Association,, and the USGS Groundwater Information Pages.

Removing Viruses From Municipal Wastewater.

Equipment setup for filtering wastewater samples for enteric viruses.

7/27/2012 -- The effectiveness of membrane bioreactors (MBRs), a relatively new wastewater-treatment technology in which conventional secondary treatment is replaced by a membrane separation process, was studied by USGS scientists in Ohio and several collaborators. The study spanned three recreational seasons (May–October), when disinfection of effluents is required in Ohio, and evaluated removals of bacterial indicators, coliphage (indicator viruses), and human enteric viruses in three MBR and two conventional secondary activated-sludge municipal wastewater treatment plants. The study team determined that that (1) removals of all organisms were higher across secondary treatment for MBR plants than for conventional plants, (2) although culturable viruses were found in 63 percent of samples collected after primary treatment, they were not detected in any samples receiving further treatment, and (3) ultraviolet disinfection after MBR treatment provided little additional removal of any organism except for coliphage. A recent article and USGS report describe the study

Dry Conditions To Persist Throughout The Nation

Dry conditions to persist throughout the nation.

7/17/2012 --The majority of the nation is facing dry conditions; in most areas drought conditions are expected to persist or intensify. (READ MORE)

Going Fishing Or Paddling?

Going Fishing or Paddling?

7/10/2012 --Is the water a suitable temperature and flow for fishing? Is there enough or too much water to safely and enjoyably canoe or kayak? How do you know? The real-time data from streamgages are used by recreationists to answer these types of questions. Use USGS WaterWatch to view real-time streamflow data, USGS StreamMail 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. Use one of the many third-party smart phone apps and websites that access USGS real-time water data. In Ohio, some of the more popular gages queried for recreational purposes (fishing and/or paddling) include the Rocky River near Berea, Grand River near Painesville, Mad River near Urbana, Vermilion River near Vermilion,  Clear Creek near Rockbridge, and the Little Miami River at Milford.

Too Low For Data.

Low flow conditions leave pump and hose exposed, preventing water quality samples from being collected at Big Walnut Creek at Sunbury,

7/3/2012 -- UPDATE: Water quality sensor is back online and data will be reported as long as there is flow in the stream (7/11/2012). Notwithstanding the strong storms over the weekend, streamflow in the Big Walnut Creek at Sunbury remains too low to collect water quality samples and the sensor that measures temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and specific conductance will temporarily be taken offline. While flow in this stream sometimes is very low in late summer, it rarely is this low in June. Streamflow will continue to be measured.

Ottawa, Ohio Better Prepared For Floods.

Ottawa, Ohio Better Prepared for Floods.

6/5/2012 --Ottawa, Ohio is now better prepared to protect lives and property because of a web based early flood-warning project put in place by the U.S. Geological Survey, Village of Ottawa, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and National Weather Service (NWS). The unprecedented damage and economic losses from the August 2007 flood in Ottawa prompted the village to seek means to reduce flood damages. The USGS developed flood-inundation maps of the Blanchard River in Ottawa and a flood-warning network, consisting of three USGS streamgages that monitor water levels and streamflow (report). The gages are used by emergency managers to make informed decisions when flooding is imminent. The inundation maps correspond to the NWS flood-warning levels and show areas that would be underwater at various river levels. A press conference is scheduled June 7, 2012 (media advisory, news release).

Free Arsenic Testing In Licking County, Ohio.

Free Arsenic Testing in Licking County, Ohio.

6/1/2012 --Arsenic occurs naturally in rocks and soil. In some parts of Ohio, arsenic concentrations in groundwater can exceed the arsenic health standard. Licking County residents can get their household well water tested for arsenic at no cost. Special collection bottles and instructions can be picked up at homeowner workshops June 12, July 10, or August 14, from 5 to 8 p.m. The data collected will be used as part of a study to characterize arsenic occurrence in Ohio groundwater. Contact USGS hydrologist Mary Ann Thomas for more information.

Predicting Water Quality In The Cuyahoga River.

Predicting Water Quality in the Cuyahoga River.

6/1/2012 --Over 2.5 million people visit the Cuyahoga Valley National Park annually to hike, ride the scenic railroad, bike the Towpath Trail, or enjoy the many recre­ational opportunities provided by the Cuyahoga River and its tributaries. Because the river is at times impaired for recreational use because of elevated concentrations of Escherichia coli (E. coli), a fecal-indicator bacterium, park managers have discouraged canoeing, swimming, or wading, but they would like to promote the use of the river when the water quality is considered acceptable. Regression models were developed as a rapid method to predict recreational water quality in the river. A recently released report summarizes the performance of the predictive models during 2009–11, provides information on the use of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park page of the Ohio Nowcast Web site, and describes future directions for predictive models within the park.

Is It Safe To Swim In The Lake Or Canoe In The River?

Is it safe to swim in the lake or canoe in the river?

5/18/2012 --Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week, May 21-27, 2012, emphasizes the importance of a healthy and safe swimming experience. The USGS Ohio Water Science Center is involved with several studies to strengthen the science of beach water-quality monitoring. The “nowcasting” systems on Lake Erie at the bathing beaches of Maumee Bay State Park, Edgewater (Cleveland, Ohio) and Huntington (Bay Village, Ohio), and along the Cuyahoga River in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park provide near-real-time estimates of water quality to the beach-going public. Nowcast models at seven other Lake Erie beaches and eight inland Ohio lakes, including the inland lake beach at Maumee Bay State Park, are in development. Safe swimming!

Awesome Aquifers! Hydrologists Judge State Science Olympiad Tournament.

Awesome Aquifers! Hydrologists Judge State Science Olympiad Tournament.

5/10/2012 -- USGS hydrologists Sandra Eberts and Donna Runkle (judges) and Al Dillenberg (proctor) oversaw 40 teams of 2 students for the Ohio tournament of Science Olympiad  Awesome Aquifers competition at The Ohio State University. The teams, made of students in 6th – 9th grade, take a written exam and give an oral presentation on groundwater hydrology using an aquifer model that they built during the competition. Many USGS reports and websites are used as study and test resources for the Awesome Aquifers event.  Chardon Middle School won the Awesome Aquifers event, while Solon Middle School won the tournament and will travel to Florida to compete in Nationals on May 18-19.

Explore Water With The USGS And Others.

Explore Water With The USGS And Others.

4/19/2012 --Join us at COSI, the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, to celebrate Earth Day 2012. COSI’s “Exploring Water” event is Saturday, April 28.  Ohio Water Science Center hydrologist Ralph Haefner is demonstrating how groundwater moves through various types of rocks, how it can be contaminated, and how difficult it is to clean up. Meet researchers from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the National Groundwater Association, Wittenberg University, and Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District. The event dovetails with COSI’s traveling exhibit, Water: it surrounds us, sustains us, and challenges us.

World Water Monitoring Challenge Kicks Off.

World Water Monitoring Challenge Kicks Off.

3/21/2012 --Participate in the World Water Monitoring Challenge and test your local waters for four key indicators of water quality: temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. Submitted data are put into an online database, with  reports available to the public. The program began in 2002 and reached more than 300,000 people in 77 countries in 2011.  The USGS is a sponsor of this challenge, which is coordinated by the Water Environment Federation and the International Water Association. The challenge runs from World Water Day, March 22 through the end of the year.

99 Years Later, Floods Still a Threat, Most Recently in Licking County.

99 Years Later, Floods Still A Threat.

3/21/2012 --It has been 99 years since “Ohio’s greatest weather disaster,” the 1913 statewide flood resulted when 6-11 inches of rain fell over 3 days on saturated ground. More than 40,000 homes were flooded, and more than 400 people died, mostly in the Dayton area. Flooding remains Ohio’s largest natural disaster threat. Unlike in 1913, the USGS now operates a network of real-time streamflow and flood-stage monitoring stations that are used to help forecast future and track rising water, in order to minimize or mitigate flood damages. Storms last March resulted in historic floods, with average recurrence intervals in excess of 50 or 100 years at several Ohio streamgages, and caused moderate to minor flooding at many locations around the state. Most recently, floods in Licking County around Hebron (photo, hydrograph) and Granville (photo, hydrograph) led people to evacuate their homes. You can “see” the flooding through animation of flood and high flow condition maps at the USGS WaterWatch.

World Water Day Visualization With USGS Data.

3/21/2012 --In a creative use of USGS data and information, a 19,000 square foot global visualization of groundwater depletions will be displayed on the Reuters and NASDAQ signs in Times Square on World Water Day, March 22, 2012. The visualization of seasonal and long-term changes in groundwater levels was the winner of the HeadsUp! visualization contest.  The visualization will be shown for one month.

National Ground Water Awareness Week – March 11-17, 2012.

Hydrologic Technician Performs Slug Test of Well. 3/13/2012 --Groundwater awareness is important to you! 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. Groundwater is the predominant source of drinking water for about 4.8 million people in Ohio, and though it is an abundant and renewable resource, it must be protected. Learn more about groundwater and USGS groundwater studies around the Nation through a podcast(celebrating last year’s event) or the USGS Groundwater Information Pages. National Ground Water Awareness Week is sponsored by the National Ground Water Association and many partners.

Dam Failure Temporarily Shutters Streamgage.

Dam Failure Temporarily Shutters Streamgage. 1/26/2012 --The low-head dam just downstream from the White Oak Creek near Georgetown, Ohio streamgage collapsed during high flow conditions early Jan 18th. The 12-foot high low-head dam was built for the Georgetown Waterworks Water Treatment Plant around 1930, but was no longer in use. Low-head dams appear innocuous during lowflow conditions (pic), and may be hidden during high flow (pic), but are always dangerous and considered by some to be “drowning machines.” The stretch of stream upstream from the dam is popular for whitewater paddlers and the USGS has measured streamflow at the site since 1923. Current gage height data will be unavailable until modifications are made to the streamgage and streamflow data will not be available until a new stage-discharge rating can be developed.

After the dam failure (video 1) hydrologic technicians make field measurements using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP), but the current river condition makes it a challenge (video 2).

Monitoring The Effectiveness Of Rain Gardens, Pervious Pavers, And Bioswales.

Monitoring The Effectiveness Of Rain Gardens, Pervious Pavers, And Bioswales.1/9/2012 -- Low-impact development (LID) is an approach to manage storm water as near to its source as possible by minimizing impervious surfaces and promoting the natural movement of water. Two newly constructed low-impact development sites in northeastern Ohio were monitored to document their hydraulic characteristics. One site consisted of replacing roadside ditches with a rain garden/bioswale combination to reduce flooding; the other site consisted of a rain garden and pervious pavers to reduce and delay runoff from a newly constructed building and parking lot. Rain gages, crest-stage gages, and sensors measured rainfall, water levels, and runoff. Results are described in a new report and indicate that low-impact development can be a useful approach to managing stormwater at these sites. The results will be used in conjunction with water-quality data collected by the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Inc., to better define the performance of bioswales, pervious pavers, and rain gardens.


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