The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) has assisted in the establishing a comprehensive/continuous water quality monitoring network specific to tracking progress toward meeting the Ohio Domestic Action Plan and Annex 4 goals.
Monitoring locations have been established at 41 Lake Erie tributary sites. These are located at key subwatersheds and the most practical locations near the mouths of direct primary tributaries to Lake Erie. The monitoring stations are maintained and sampled by Heidelberg University’s National Center for Water Quality Research (NCWQR) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Ohio EPA will coordinate these monitoring activities with other jurisdictions, particularly for the Maumee River watershed shared with Michigan and Indiana.
Ohio EPA, in cooperation with NCWQR and USGS, will continue to develop and implement a program to monitor and track water quality improvements resulting from nutrient reduction practices and best management practices. These correlations will be developed at the finest scale practical, whether it is edge-of-field or watershed level.
In an effort to increase coverage of water quality monitoring stations, the USGS is installing “Super Gages” which are conventional streamflow gages equipped with continuous water quality monitors. Once calibrated, these gages will provide real-time data, which will help improve the understanding of watershed processes.
Nutrient load monitoring stations in the Western and Central basins of Lake Erie (Ohio EPA 2018).