MEDIA CONTACT:
Heidi Griesmer, Ohio EPA, (614) 644-2160
Bethany McCorkle, ODNR, (614) 265-6860
Merv Bartholow, BLT, (740) 928-6874
Danielle Dumont, YSI Inc., (937) 767-7241, ext. 428
CITIZEN CONTACT: Amber Finkelstein, Ohio EPA, (614) 644-2160


In-Lake Monitoring Station Installed at Buckeye Lake

Public-Private Partnerships Key to Data Collection, Lake Assessment

To better assess water quality conditions at Buckeye Lake, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) have partnered with an Ohio-based manufacturer of water monitoring systems to install a data station near the center of the 3,200-acre lake.

The sensor instrumentation at the strategically positioned station continuously collects real-time data to help state officials, water quality experts and lake-goers alike understand what’s happening below the surface of the lake.

“Our equipment at Buckeye Lake will help proactively assess the lake conditions and protect it,” said Gayle Rominger, executive vice president of YSI Inc.

“The state is fortunate to partner with this Ohio company to provide Ohio EPA and ODNR staffs, as well as the general public, timely data on the lake’s water quality,” Director Nally said. “YSI, Inc. works with professionals around the world to help monitor and protect water resources, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do here at Buckeye Lake.”

The live data from Buckeye Lake will be available to the public starting next Monday at www.livelakedata.com. The station will measure temperature, conductivity, pH, turbidity and dissolved oxygen at two points in the water column.

Ohio EPA Director Scott J. Nally helped complete the station’s installation this afternoon by diving into Buckeye Lake to secure monitoring devices a half meter from the bottom of the 8-foot section of lake and a half meter from the surface.

“This information will help us inform the Buckeye Lake community and visitors about the water conditions we’re analyzing, so everyone can enjoy this natural resource for years to come,” said ODNR Deputy Director Glen Cobb.

Federal, state and local partners, including volunteer monitors and community organizations like Buckeye Lake for Tomorrow (BLT), have spent years working throughout the watershed. Today’s installation of the in-lake monitoring station is the latest way the state is helping support local efforts to protect Buckeye Lake. The approximately $45,000 equipment is being funded through Ohio EPA with a federal grant.

“We are pleased to have been selected to have this professional high-tech equipment installed in our lake,” said Merv Bartholow, BLT Lake Coordinator. “The information that is gathered will benefit current and future efforts to protect and improve water quality in the lake. Residents, businesses and visitors will all benefit from this state and local partnership.”

BLT is hosting a community meeting Thurs., May 3 at 7 p.m. at Fraternal Order of Eagles (3240 Walnut Rd. SE, Buckeye Lake) with Ohio EPA, ODNR and Fairfield Soil and Water Conservation District. Representatives will announce proactive studies and projects aimed at understanding and reducing nutrients (e.g., phosphorus, nitrates) from entering Buckeye Lake. Nutrients in shallow lakes such as Buckeye Lake from many different sources contribute to excessive algae growth and other water quality issues.

The information the in-lake monitoring station collects will complement ongoing manual sampling of the lake and its tributaries to achieve a comprehensive dataset for Buckeye Lake.

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