Water Watch: Mapping Lake Erie’s pollution sources

. February 7, 2017.

Lake Erie advocates have a powerful new tool to detect key sources of algal blooms in the Western Basin. An interactive map, a collaboration between Lucas County and Toledo officials, has been compiled of suspected contributors to the runoff issues that are contaminating the local waterways.

Breaking regions of NW Ohio, Indiana and Michigan into designated Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs), where sources of potential pollutants have been identified, the map shows where pollutants likely have emerged in an effort to determine which HUCs are the most damaging to the water quality.

The assorted datasets of the map, available at lucascountygreen.com include the areas’ many waterways, the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in their respective HUCs and areas with overcrowded or missing sewers, all contributors to the problems in Lake Erie. Mayor Hicks-Hudson feels that the map will be useful in helping convince the governor and the EPA to designate Lake Erie impaired. A tutorial that showcases how to use the map variations is available on the site as well.