10/30/14
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Darla Peelle

Norwalk among First Recipients of State Grants to Purchase Cyanobacteria Testing Equipment for Drinking Water Plant

Ohio EPA has awarded Norwalk one of the first grants to purchase testing equipment to monitor the city’s drinking water supply for cyanobacteria. Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler was in Norwalk today to award the grant and discuss how the state and communities are cooperating to protect local water supplies.

“Norwalk was the first community in the state to apply for a grant to purchase the equipment when the funding was announced in August,” Director Butler said. “They applied before a harmful algal bloom first occurred in one of the city’s reservoirs just days later. We commend their foresight and are glad to partner with the city. We encourage other communities to be proactive and take advantage of this funding.”

Cyanotoxins can be produced during harmful algal blooms on lakes, reservoirs and streams. Many communities are proactively sampling their raw and treated water for cyanotoxins. Ohio EPA has made $1 million available in grants for up to $10,000 per system to help purchase equipment and training. Norwalk received a $9,950 grant.

Ohio EPA conducts sampling when public water systems do not have the means to test. However, having the ability to analyze samples at the local treatment plants rather than sending samples to Ohio EPA or another outside lab will allow a quicker treatment response to detections and target monitoring based on immediate conditions. Given the dynamic and unpredictable nature of cyanobacteria blooms, a quick response is critical.

Grants are available to any Ohio public water system using surface water as its drinking water source. Grant applications are being accepted through June 1, 2015. More information is available here.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.


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