Water Pollution

One of Ashtabula's 19 covered bridges crosses the river just south of town. A total of 46 miles of the river and its tributaries were named scenic rivers in 2008.
Jeff St. Clair / WKSU

Patricia Seymour grew up in Ashtabula in the 1960ss. On bright spring day at the city’s bustling harbor, Seymour recalls a childhood landscape more reminiscent of the Lord of the Rings.

“It was like Mordor,” Seymour says.

lgae floats in the water at the Maumee Bay State Park marina in Lake Erie in Oregon, Ohio, on Sept. 15, 2017.
Paul Sancya / AP

Heavy rains that inundated the Great Lakes region this spring will fuel another massive algae bloom across parts of western Lake Erie later this summer, researchers said Thursday.

Mussels may be popular among seafood lovers, but many boaters consider them pests. They colonize ship bottoms, clog water pipes and stick to motors.

Three students from Dublin Jerome High School created an affordable, solar-powered robot to fix water pollution.
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

Three Dublin Jerome High School students created what they say is an affordable, solar-powered robot that can monitor and remediate water pollution.  They’re taking their invention to a national competition at The Ohio State University this weekend.

States in the Ohio River basin will be able to choose whether or not to follow pollution control standards set by the Ohio River Water Sanitation Commission. ORSANCO's board of directors approved the change at a meeting in Covington Thursday morning.

Lake Erie algea
WKSU

In a special election Tuesday, voters in Toledo said yes to a ballot measure that amends the city charter to include a Lake Erie Bill of Rights. With about 8.9 percent turnout of eligible voters, the ordinance won approval with over 61 percent of the vote.

Next Tuesday, Feb. 26, the residents of Toledo will have the chance to vote on an unusual (some might even say radical) proposal: whether to give the fourth largest lake in the United States its own Bill of Rights. If the ballot measure passes, it would be a win for the small but growing “rights of nature” movement, which aims to deter activities that pollute the environment by granting legal rights to ecosystems.

The Cincinnati skyline and John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge is seen from the banks of the Ohio River, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, in Covington, Ky.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

A multi-state commission charged with ensuring water quality in the Ohio River will consider whether to eliminate its pollution control standards at its meeting on February 14. Thousands of people have expressed opposition during a public comment period, while others argue that the regulations are redundant and have no teeth.

Aleigha Sloan can't remember ever drinking a glass of water from the tap at her home.

That is "absolutely dangerous," the 17-year-old says, wrinkling her nose and making a face at the thought.

"You just don't touch that tap water unless absolutely necessary. I mean, like showers and things — you have to do what you have to do. But other than that, no," she says. "I don't know anybody that does."

PEXELS

New requirements aim to keep Ohioans safe from lead contamination in their drinking water.

A 600 mile long algae bloom on the Ohio River in 2015.
Jeff Reutter / Ohio Sea Grant via Flickr

A crowdsourcing effort is in the works to monitor toxic algae polluting Lake Erie.

The vague warning jolted citizens in and around Salem, Oregon to attention on May 29.

"Civil Emergency in this area until 1128PM," read the text message alert. "Prepare for action."

It was a ham-handed message — one that left some wondering if an attack was imminent. In fact, the danger officials wanted to warn them about wasn't coming from the sky.

It was coming from their taps.

Adora Namigadde / WOSU

Before Deborah Leonard finally replaced her septic tank, it was 100 years old and causing a flood of problems.

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