pollution

Bottles of Lake Erie water are tested in a lab.
Brian Bull / WCPN

Researchers at the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) say they’ve begun testing water samples with the latest technology, following last summer’s water shutdown in Toledo.

Hundreds of swimmers will soon take to the lake as the weather warms up. And some swimmers will perhaps pause to ask: “How clean is the water? Are there contaminants, pollutants? Is there a risk of blue-green algae?”

Marie Geisel joined the Dayton Citizens Water Brigade on Tuesday before a packed plan board meeting.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The debate over Dayton’s source water protection policy is still simmering, although the issues have changed somewhat since the idea of an update to the policy was first floated last summer.

Satellite view of toxic algal bloom on Lake Erie
NASA Earth Observatory

Toxic blue-green algae blooms, or cyanobacteria, are a growing problem in Ohio’s lakes, and grabbed the attention of the whole country after the bacteria shut down Toledo’s water system last summer.

An image of the revised source water protection policy map for the city of Dayton's wellfields.
City of Dayton

The city of Dayton has released new proposed changes to its drinking water protections following a series of public meetings and meetings with stakeholders over the last six months. Water Department Director Tammi Clements presented an outline of the latest proposals to the Dayton City Commission Wednesday morning.

Signs around the Miami Valley demarcate the boundaries of the well fields and source water protection areas.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

 A new group called the Dayton Citizens’ Water Brigade is holding a teach-in tonight about the City of Dayton’s water protection policy.

The group opposes changes to the policy that’s been in place for over 25 years. The policy was created as an attempt to keep hazardous chemicals away from the wellfields that supply water to 400,000 people around Dayton, including most Montgomery County suburbs. It forbids new chemicals within a set geographic area, and provides incentives for companies to reduce chemical storage already in place through a buy-back program.

Austin Rinebolt-Miller

A group of Antioch College students got back Monday morning from the People’s Climate March in New York City. The march was expected to be the largest and most diverse in history at over 100,000 people. Now organizers are pegging the count at at least 310,000.

Several dozen Antioch students and several hundred Ohioans had planned to attend the march on buses. Antioch students hoped to bring back new energy about fighting global climate change.

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

The City of Dayton water department says it’s considering feedback from the public and businesses on a proposal to change the city’s drinking water protections.

The city’s water system, which serves 400,000 people including customers in Kettering, Vandalia, Riverside, Trotwood and Brookville, pumps water from two industrial parts of Dayton. Since the late 80s, city zoning laws have limited the hazardous chemicals companies can have in those areas.

Collin O'Mara, President of the National Wildlife Federation, held up a glass of algae-filled water from Lake Erie after the toxins produced by the algae shut down Toledo's water system.
National Wildlife Federation Staff

Nothing brings consensus like a crisis. During Toledo’s recent drinking-water ban, conflicting ideas about how to test for toxins caused confusion for decision-makers, and hat problem sparked rare, swift action by multiple layers of government to create a uniform, statewide protocol.

Jeffrey Simmons speaks to representatives from the City of Dayton water department.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

About 20 people spoke out at a public meeting Monday on Dayton’s proposal to revise its drinking water protections. Almost all the speakers opposed the plan, which would reduce the most stringently protected area by 40 percent.

Signs around the Miami Valley demarcate the boundaries of the well fields and source water protection areas.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The first of two public hearings is taking place Monday, July 14 on possible changes to Dayton’s drinking water protection program. Drinking water for more than 400,000 people in Montgomery and parts of Greene County comes from two wellfields that tap into the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, a shallow sand and gravel aquifer that is vulnerable to contamination from surface spills.

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