Ohio’s Lake Erie Shoreline Ranks Low in Water Quality

lake_erie_tocOhio’s water quality along Lake Erie received a failing grade in an annual report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Lake Erie beaches in the Buckeye State exceeded health standards only 19% of the time, just behind Indiana’s 18%, according to the report. Louisana came in a distant third with 29%.

The most common bacteria found floating in Ohio’s waters is E. Coli, according to the report.

Regional sewer district officials in Cleveland joined the NRDC and the Ohio Environmental Council and Environment Ohio at a news conference to announce the annual report yesterday at Edgewater Park on the shores of Lake Erie.


All this is from the Plain Dealer:

While the report blames storm water runoff as the most likely source of bacteria at Ohio beaches, regional sewer district officials pointed to another possible culprit — wildlife, especially geese, along the shoreline.

The District has voluntarily monitored local beaches for the last 16 years and is working with USGS officials to determine if geese droppings are affecting water quality at two of the worst beaches — Villa Angela and Euclid Beach,

Swimmers at two Northeast Ohio beaches – Huntington and Edgewater – can get water quality forecasts online daily at 9:30 a.m. or by calling 216-432-7301.

Swimmers at other beaches can also go online for reports on bacteria levels — but they are from the day prior.

Clearly, the $475 million designated for cleaning the Great Lakes by the Obama Administration is needed.

I’m also hopeful that the state of Ohio EPA’s mandate that Ohio communities separate their storm and sanitary sewers will have a positive impact on lake ecology.


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2 responses to “Ohio’s Lake Erie Shoreline Ranks Low in Water Quality

  1. Oh, fun. I get to swim in that water at the Cleveland Triathlon this coming Sunday.

  2. ndb

    Throughout most of the rust belt our storm water and sewage systems were built before WWII and never fundamentally upgraded – just patched here and there. More money for storm water infrastructure would do multiple things: create jobs, improve water quality in the Great Lakes and countless rivers, lessen the threat of floods in riverfront communities (like Millvale near Pittsburgh) and secure an important piece of infrastructure for the next 50-100 years. Unfortunately sewage isn’t sexy enough to get the stimulus dollars it deserves. IMO, it’d probably be better for the economy and the environment than the “shovel ready” road and bridge projects that seem to be the focus of the stimulus, though I haven’t followed too closely where all that money is really ending up.

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