Lake Erie and Many Beaches In Ohio Contain Contaminants that Pose A Threat to Human Health.
People love spending time at the lake for recreational fun, especially after the winter months. There is nothing like going on a picnic, swimming, snorkeling, skiing, boating and fishing but I’m sure you did not plan on doing these activities in a toxic environment. Here are a few facts: 1.) Ohio ranked 30th out of 30 states for beach water quality. The NRDC “Testing the Waters 2013” report states that many of our local beaches might be contaminated by human and animal waste. It states that the waters contain bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that make exposed swimmers sick. 2.) Toxic Blue-green Algae flourish in Lake Erie because large amounts of phosphorus are released from farm runoff and sewage treatment plants. Toxic Blue-green Algae also known as cyanobacteria, secrete neurotoxins, liver toxins, and skin toxins that can cause itching, rashes or allergic reactions in healthy adults and exposure can prove fatal to family pets and other animals and fish. 3.) Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant is called Lake Erie’s Water Keeper but has the following report: The Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant is the largest single contributor of phosphorus to Lake Erie. In 2011, this facility alone dumped 30 billion gallons of raw and partially treated sewage into Lake Erie.
Possible Solutions: 1.) We should talk with other counties and states that have found solutions for their Water Treatment Plants. Rochester, NY took action and came up with a solution to divert backed up sewage, excessive rain flooding, and runoff by creating a tunnel system which they put in operation in 1977. 2.) One solution may be in our own back yard. The Ohio State University Farm Science Review Conference had a presentation of a Water Control Structure. This new field drain technology will reduces runoff from farm fields:
3. Water is important to all of us so we should all get involved. The NRDC wants you to urge the EPA to take action. Tell the EPA to keep pollution in check and protect our beaches.