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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.

Water-Quality Projects

Using new tools to better understand and predict harmful cyanobacterial algal blooms (HABs) at Ohio Lake Erie and inland beaches
Using new tools to better understand and predict harmful cyanobacterial algal blooms (HABs) at Ohio Lake Erie and inland beaches

Using new tools to better understand and predict harmful cyanobacterial algal blooms (HABs) at Ohio Lake Erie and inland beaches In Ohio, local health officials and state agencies have identified the presence toxins associated with harmful algal blooms (HABs) caused by cyanobacteria during the summer and early fall seasons at recreational and water-supply lakes. The USGS, in cooperation with partner organizations, is monitoring recreational beaches and swimming areas in Ohio to better understand the link between cyanobacteria community structure, environmental and water-quality factors, and bloom toxicity. Samples are analyzed for physical water-quality characteristics, concentrations of nutrients and cyanotoxins, and phytoplankton abundance and community structure. Two new analytical methods will be tested for possible inclusion in an early warning system for toxin production: (1) chlorophyll and phycocyanin concentration measured by optical sensors and (2) cyanobacterial genetic structure, including the presence of toxin genes, determined with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).

> Donna Francy, dsfrancy@usgs.gov


Stormwater Control Measures (SCM) monitoring near Cincinnati and Cleveland
Stormwater Control Measures (SCM) monitoring near Cincinnati and Cleveland (website)

Green infrastructure (GI) is a retrofit or as-built approach to managing stormwater as near its source as possible by minimizing impervious surfaces and promoting more natural infiltration and evapotranspiration than is typically associated with developed areas. There are a variety of GI stormwater control measures, including rain gardens, bioretention features, and pervious pavements. At the St. Francis Apartments in Cincinnati, hydrologic data are being used to evaluate the effectiveness and viability of a pair of stepped rain gardens to reduce the quantity of stormwater runoff and improve the water quality of parking-lot runoff. In Slavic Village, Cleveland, a groundwater network (20 wells) and weather stations are being used to gather data about two neighborhood block areas to better guide future green infrastructure.

> Robert Darner, radarner@usgs.gov

 

 


Stream quality in tributaries near shale-gas drilling in Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District
Stream quality in tributaries near shale-gas drilling in Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District

The potential effect of drilling and hydraulic fracturing on freshwater resources is an issue that is in the news daily in Ohio and adjacent areas of the Appalachian Basin. This investigation will characterize the current (2015-16), baseline surface-water quality in the eastern part of the Muskingum River Watershed in Ohio where development of natural gas from the Utica Shale has begun and is likely to increase over the next decade. Future water-quality data can be compared to these baseline data to identify changes in water quality.

> Alex Covert, sacovert@usgs.gov

 


Detection of Pharmaceuticals and Other Emerging Contaminants in Water
Detection of Pharmaceuticals and Other Emerging Contaminants in Water (website)

A variety of human and veterinary drugs (including antibiotics), hormones, detergents, disinfectants, plasticizers, fire retardants, insecticides, and antioxidants are in common use in households and businesses around the world. Not surprisingly, some of these compounds make their way into surface water and groundwater (through a variety of pathways), and some have the potential to harm aquatic ecosystems and/or human health (even when present at very low concentrations). The USGS has expertise in performing studies aimed at detecting and (or) quantifying a large variety of trace contaminants in surface-water and groundwater systems, including treated drinking water. These studies employ state-of-the-art sampling technologies along with cutting-edge laboratory analytical techniques.

> Greg Koltun, gfkoltun@usgs.gov

 

 


Evaluation of wastewater treatments to reduce nutrient transport from land application of dairy manure
Evaluation of wastewater treatments to reduce nutrient transport from land application of dairy manure

The USGS is collaborating with Bowling Green State University; The Ohio State University Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), Northwest Agricultural Research Station; and the Village of Ottawa, Ohio to develop, optimize, field test, and document environmental benefits of a low cost dewatering treatment process for transforming dairy CAFO manure into a form that will greatly reduce nutrient runoff from land application and substantially lower the cost of transportation of the treated manure. BGSU will perform laboratory studies to identify the best methods for treating dairy manure. The USGS will coordinate pilot field testing of different manure treatments at OARDC by installing and maintaining equipment to measure nutrient concentrations and flow.

> Donna Francy, dsfrancy@usgs.gov

 

 


Hydrologic investigation of three Stormwater Control Measures (SCM) at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
Hydrologic investigation of three Stormwater Control Measures (SCM) at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College (website)

One goal of the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is to minimize stormwater discharge to combined-sewer pipes. Various pilot projects are underway to determine the effectiveness and viability of implementing stormwater control measures (SCM). One of these projects is at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, where surface runoff will be captured by means of SCM instead of being routed to combined sewers. Hydrologic data are being collected by the USGS for three SCMs to determine their effectiveness and viability for minimizing stormwater discharge to combined-sewer pipes.

> Robert Darner, radarner@usgs.gov

 


Water Quality Monitor Network in Ohio
Water Quality Monitor Network in Ohio

Stream water-quality characteristics provide scientists and water managers with a better understanding of the effects of natural and anthropogenic (human) activities on streams and ecosystems. The USGS operates a network of near-real-time water-quality monitoring stations that provide data for temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity of surface water; the data are collected in 15- to 60-minute increments and typically are transmitted to the Web every hour via satellite. These data are needed for decision making regarding drinking water, water treatment, regulatory program s, recreation, healthy ecosystems, and public safety. Data are stored in the National Water Information System (NWIS).

> Kimberly Shaffer, kshaffer@usgs.gov

 

 


Long-term Water Quality Samples on Hellbranch Run
Long-term Water Quality Samples on Hellbranch Run

Water-quality samples have been collected near the mouth of Hellbranch Run since 1992. The data can be used to assess the long-term temporal changes of water quality associated with urban development around the City of Columbus.

> John Tertuliani, tertulia@usgs.gov

 

 

 

 


Stormwater Control Measures (SCM) monitoring, Griggs Reservoir in Columbus
Stormwater Control Measures (SCM) monitoring, Griggs Reservoir in Columbus (website)

Increased stormwater runoff and associated problems, including increased pollution and flooding, have led to engineered attempts to return urban areas to a more natural water cycle. The USGS, in cooperation with the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District and the City of Columbus, is collecting hydrologic data to determine the effectiveness of recently installed rain gardens near Griggs Reservoir. (Rain gardens are a commonly used stormwater control measure.) All surface-water inputs and outflows will be measured, soil-moisture sensors will be used to time soil-water movement, short-screen observation wells will be used to determine shallow groundwater levels, and meteorological measurements will be recorded to estimate evapotranspiration.

> Robert Darner, radarner@usgs.gov

 

 


Support of Lake Erie Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP) activities through coordination, data collection, data dissemination, and data interpretation
Support of Lake Erie Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP) activities through coordination, data collection, data dissemination, and data interpretation

This project manages USGS Lake Erie LaMP (Lakewide Management Plan) activities. These activities include quarterly conference calls on USGS-related activities; attending semiannual LaMP Workgroup meetings; collection of monitoring metadata from Federal, state, local, and non-governmental organizations for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Web-based mapping program (MAPPER); and reporting on the occurrence and distribution of contaminated bed sediment and fish tissue in Lake Erie.

> Daniel Button, dtbutton@usgs.gov

 

 


Nowcast- Water-Quality Conditions at Beaches and a Recreational River
Nowcast- Water-Quality Conditions at Beaches and a Recreational River (website)

Local agencies monitor water to measure the concentration of Escherichia coli (E. coli)—an indicator bacterium found in sewage and other animal wastes—to determine whether the water is safe for contact recreation such as swimming or canoeing. Conventional analytical methods can take 18 to 24 hours to yield results. To improve the timeliness and accuracy of recreational water-quality assessments, quick measurements, such as rainfall or water clarity, can be used to estimate the probability that E. coli exceeds safe levels. For example, the Ohio Nowcast is a system that provides near-real-time beach advisories to the public through use of quick measurements and predictive models; during 2014, Ohio Nowcast water-quality information was available for eight Lake Erie beaches and one recreational river site. In a study at 49 Great Lakes beaches, the USGS, in cooperation with many local and State agencies, found that predictive models overall performed better than the conventional methods to assess recreational water quality.

> Donna Francy, dsfrancy@usgs.gov

 


NAWQA - Regional Stream-Quality Assessment field data management
NAWQA - Regional Stream-Quality Assessment field data management (website)

The Regional Stream-Quality Assessment (RSQA) of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) assesses the ecological stressors in various regions across the United States. The stressors are related to water quality, streamflow, and toxicity. Field data management ensures a clean, complete dataset for interpretation and analysis with no loss of samples or data.

> Daniel Button, dtbutton@usgs.gov

 


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