Environment

Ohio is moving closer to forcing public water systems to alert residents within two days after lead is found at the tap.

It's a key part of an overhaul rolled out by Ohio Gov. John Kasich's administration to change how the state and its cities deal with lead in drinking water.

The two-day notification would be a major switch from current federal rules that give water plants 60 days to notify all residents.

But a water industry group is among those saying the proposed deadline is too short.

How a Burning River Helped Create the Clean Water Act

Apr 22, 2016
Cleveland State University Library

NOTE: This story was originally published on April 17, 2015.

At the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, the Cuyahoga River had long been a pollution problem. Cleveland had been a major industrial city since the 1880s, and the mayor then called the river “an open sewer through the center of the city.”

But when the Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland in 1969, many believe it became the symbol of out-of-control pollution that was needed to get the Clean Water Act passed.

The Dayton City Commission has updated the city's water ordinance.
Wikipedia

A school district in central Ohio has shut off its drinking fountains after finding high lead levels in the water.

The Granville school district northeast of Columbus says tests show water coming from some of the drinking fountains are above the federal limit.

School leaders say the problem is with the drinking fountains and not the water coming into the buildings.

The district says it shut off access to the drinking fountains Wednesday and is running more tests.

Bottled water is being given to students and teachers.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. EPA is stepping in to help clean up groundwater pollution in the Valley Pike neighborhood of Riverside.

The organization announced yesterday the site has been added to its National Priorities list, which categorizes the most hazardous polluted sites in the country.

The Ohio EPA asked for federal support when the chemicals perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) were found in Valley Pike’s groundwater in 2013. The contaminants were traced back to nearby Mullins Rubber Products.

Miami Township Parks and Recreation

Layer Park in Miami Township has been closed due to ground contamination after the Ohio EPA found high levels of lead in the park’s soil.

The park was the site of a skeet shooting range from the 1930s into the 1950s. Officials believe lead shot became embedded in the ground and contaminated the soil.

The park was already closed for winter and will remain closed until all tests are complete. Residents living nearby were notified of the contamination by the EPA last Friday.

A Pennsylvania gas well.  fracking drilling
Gerry Dincher / Flickr/Creative Commons

State data shows the amount of hydraulic fracturing wastewater pumped underground in Ohio increased by more than 15 percent last year.

The increase comes as drilling for shale in the process known as fracking has slowed nationwide.

A Columbus Dispatch analysis of Ohio Department of Natural Resources numbers shows Ohio took in nearly 29 million barrels of fracking wastewater in 2015.

That figure is about 4 million more barrels than in 2014.

Dayton Water Great Miami River
Texas141

A southwest Ohio wastewater treatment plant has been told it failed to use proper emissions filtering equipment for the second time in less than two years.

The Dayton Daily News reports that federal regulators cited Clean Water Ltd. on Feb. 3 after they say dangerous contaminants from the Dayton facility escaped into the air.

The citation says an emissions filter didn't work properly for nine days last year. A ventilation system didn't function properly for 20 days.

In An Ohio Town, Officials Waited Months To Disclose Dangerous Lead Levels

Jan 29, 2016
bottled Water distribution at the Sebring Community Center in northeast Ohio.
Julie Grant / Allegheny Front

At the community center in tiny Sebring, Ohio, it’s clear there’s something going on. There are trucks from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. People are wearing official-looking fluorescent yellow jackets. The Red Cross is here. And residents are picking up bottled water.

 

The Yellow Springs in winter glen helen
Talitha Green / Glen Helen

Today WYSO Curious takes on a question that’s simple, but also age-old. It involves a feature familiar to Yellow Springs locals: the actual springs after which the town is named.

The springs inside a preserve called Glen Helen look bright yellowish orange where the water comes out. So listener Jonathan Kouse, an occasional visitor to the Glen, asked, “Why are the Yellow Springs yellow?”

 

The Great Miami River is connected to the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, where Dayton gets its water.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

  TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's environmental regulators are ordering two wastewater treatment plants in southwest Ohio to reduce the amount of phosphorus that goes into the Great Miami River.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency last month rejected a request from Dayton and Montgomery County to delay setting the limits.

The state EPA says its research shows the plants are sending too much phosphorus into the river during the summer and that can add up to more toxic algae blooms.

Pages