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Ohio EPA Will Conduct Water Quality Sampling in East Fork Little Miami Watershed

Ohio EPA will collect water quality and biological samples in the East Fork Little Miami watershed to gather information that will be part of a plan to maintain and, where necessary, restore water quality of the river and its tributaries.

Most of the sampling will be conducted through October 2012. Additional work will be conducted through summer 2013. The East Fork Little Miami watershed is located primarily in Clermont and Brown counties with additional portions in Clinton, Highland, Warren and Hamilton counties.

The sampling will reveal which pollutants are present in the water and the condition of aquatic life in the steam and its tributaries. This data will give Ohio EPA a picture of where the water is healthy and where to focus work with stakeholders to find solutions for polluted waters.

The federal Clean Water Act requires a water quality plan, called a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), to be developed and implemented for water impaired by pollution. A TMDL is the maximum amount of pollutants a creek or river can receive on a daily basis without violating water quality standards. If a TMDL is required to be developed, stakeholders will have the opportunity to comment on, and make use of data from, the final report.

Grant money that is available on a competitive basis to address polluted water is predicated on a completed TMDL and a watershed action plan formulated by local stakeholders that specifically addresses pollutants and polluted waters identified in the TMDL.

Sampling locations are generally chosen upstream and downstream from sewage treatment plants, industrial discharges, principal tributaries and streams where known or suspected sources of pollution occur. Samples will be collected from the same sites a number of times. Ohio EPA employees all carry photo identification and will request permission from private landowners if access to their property is needed.

Interested citizens can view the study plan and find general information about stream monitoring on the web.

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