Water

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.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Dayton’s Mad River wellfield is on a grassy island in the middle of one of the city’s three major rivers. Phil Van Atta, head of Dayton’s water treatment operation, says the wellfield, where Dayton pumps up groundwater from the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, is one of his favorite places. The shallow sand and gravel aquifer in some places lies just feet below the ground, and its 1.5 trillion gallons of freshwater is constantly recharging from the rivers and rainfall.

Lake Erie Algae Threatens Ohio Drinking Water

Jul 20, 2014

This year the amount of harmful algae forecast for Lake Erie is predicted to be less than last year and considerably less than the record outbreak of 2011. But it’s likely still be significant, coating some parts of the western basin in toxic green slime. Under certain conditions, even moderate blooms can produce levels of harmful toxins that threaten drinking water across the basin.

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.

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

Human-caused climate change is expected to have devastating effects across the country and world. The Midwest is somewhat insulated from extremes of drought or rising seas, but a recent report finds Ohio could see costly effects ranging from flooding to dangerous extreme heat spells by the end of the century.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Newly sworn-in Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley was at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Jan. 22-24, and she came back with some insights about what mayors can do to grow jobs and make the most of natural resources.

Cincinnati plans to shut down intake valves along the Ohio River to protect the city's drinking water from a chemical spill in West Virginia.

Mayor John Cranley announced Monday that the valves will be shut down for at least 20 hours beginning tonight. Cranley says that will allow the water to pass the city without any chemicals entering the drinking supply.

The city plans to use a reserve of 60 hours of treated water, built up specially following the West Virginia spill.

Ohio EPA Water Chief Resigns

Aug 20, 2013

The official in charge of protecting Ohio’s streams and lakes has been asked to step down. In a resignation letter sent Monday the head of the Ohio EPA’s Division of Surface Water thanked employees for acting appropriately despite pressure from the coal industry to grant permits.

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