Water Quality in Southeast Ohio

by Josh Overholser on August 6, 2014 at 6:43 am

Water issues recently placed the city of Toledo under a state of emergency, but could those same sort of issues affect us in Southeast Ohio?

While most people in the area receive their water from underground wells, there are still some communities that do receive their supply from surface water.  Tappan Lake serves as the primary water source for Cadiz, Atwood Lake supplies water to a few areas in Carroll County, and Cambridge receives its water from Wills Creek with Seneca Lake serving as the backup.  While an algae bloom in these areas is possible, Darrin Lautenschleger with the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District wants to ensure residents that the water supply here is safe.

"We have a system in place where if we have tests that turn positive for E. coli as well as the different types of toxins that were found in the harmful algae bloom in the Toledo area, we would put a notification system into place and use all of the necessary precautions," Lautenschleger said.  "So, we’re aware that there are concerns, and it’s proper, and the public should be concerned about the health of their water quality."

Lautenschleger says that all 10 lakes monitored by the conservancy district currently test in the safe levels, even for swimming.  The lakes here also haven’t seen the rise in E. coli levels that other inland lakes have experienced.

"Folks will remember the issues at Grand Lake St. Marys," Lautenschleger said.  "Part of the reason the MWCD lakes haven’t had that type of constant concern over harmful algae blooms and other issues is because the depth of those lakes is greater, and the amount of agricultural loads going into it are smaller."  

If you have questions or concerns about your water, you can contact the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District through their website at www.mwcd.org.