In June of 2015, the Lucas County Board of County Commissioners and the Toledo – Lucas County Sustainability Commission, with support from the City of Toledo, committed to implementing an assessment of sources and amounts of nutrient loading in the Western Lake Erie Basin watershed.

The City of Toledo Division of Water Treatment uses a surface water intake in Lake Erie to provide drinking water for over 500,000 people in the greater Toledo metropolitan area. The goal of assessing nutrient sources and amounts and creating the Nutrient Source Inventory was to identify potential causes of impairment and pollutant sources that need to be controlled to achieve desired phosphorous load reductions and reduce the Harmful Algal Blooms in the WLEB. The reduction targets were adopted for the WLEB through Annex 4 of the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, through which the federal governments, states, and province committed to a goal of reducing phosphorous loading by 40 percent by 2025.

This is a multi-phase project that identifies, quantifies and develops strategies to address the nutrient loading in the Western Lake Erie Basin. It will be completed in the following phases:

  • Inventory and Mapping of Potential Primary Nutrient Contributors
  • Develop Nutrient Load Models
  • Identify Management Measures for Nutrient Reduction 
  • Implementation and Monitoring of Management Measures

The Nutrient Source Inventory drives local progress toward the Source Water Initiative’s first goal of protecting sources of drinking water from nutrient impacts.