Funds for the load monitoring stations are from federal, state, and local governments, as well as private enterprises. In 2018 monitoring partners brought four new stations online. Annually, between 100-500 water quality samples are collected at every site. The timing of which samples are collected is strategic to allow for the calculation of continuous nutrient loads. These loading data allow for a better understanding of each tributary’s contribution to nutrient delivery to Lake Erie. They are also used to track changes in nutrient delivery based on land use changes/best management practices adoption.
Results from water quality monitoring at 9 locations in Ohio can be found in the Water Monitoring Summary, which is published by the Ohio Lake Erie Commission. The Water Monitoring Summary, which is published annually, provides a brief background on water quality monitoring as well as reports out Spring loadings for Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus, Total Phosphorus and Nitrogen.
In 2019 the Ohio Lake Erie Commission will also release an expanded summary that includes the nutrient loading data for all Lake Erie tributary monitoring sites. This expanded report will be accompanied by a spreadsheet in which the actual loading and flow weighted mean concentration values for each site can be downloaded.
Nutrient loads for 2017 from 9 tributaries in Ohio’s portion of the Lake Erie basin (OLEC 2017).
In addition to the Water Monitoring Summary, tributary data from the National Center for Water Quality Research (NCWQR) is publicly available on their website, which is updated on a quarterly basis. The NCWQR also provides a Quality Assurance Project Plan, tutorials on how different loadings are estimated, and a tool to estimate nutrient loadings from tributaries.
All of the water quality chemistry samples that USGS collects can also be downloaded from their website. Most of the sites in the Maumee River basin that USGS monitors can be accessed via a map based website tool.