While the current nutrient-related water pollution incidents in the news leave challenges for policy makers, there are things we can do at home to reduce nutrient pollution in our streams. We know nutrients can be beneficial to plant growth; elevated nutrients that wash off the land and in our streams can pose a threat to human health. Elevated concentrations of nitrates present a health risk to both infants and women who are pregnant. This spring nitrate levels were identified in drinking water coming from the Columbus Dublin Road water plant, resulting in a water advisory.

Elevated levels of soluble phosphorus can also pose a risk. Harmful algae blooms caused by elevated phosphorus levels produce toxins that can be harmful to humans and pets. As families take to the beaches for summer break, there continues to be concerns about toxic algae in lakes across Ohio. Fertilizers, animal waste, and sewage are major sources of nutrient pollution in our streams. Other sources include atmospheric deposition of automobile exhaust, soil erosion, yard waste, and detergents.

There are many actions residents and homeowners can take to reduce nutrient pollution in our local streams. Read More

What's New

Educators & Youth Leaders

2015 Ohio Envirothon Teams

2015 Ohio Envirothon Teams

The 27th Annual Ohio Envirothon took place June 8-9 at Mohican State Park in Perrysville, OH.  20 teams of 5 High School students each, from 17 different counties around the state competed in the environmentally-focused outdoor competition.  Read More

Landowners

tree sale parkingCROPPED

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Tree Sale pick-up is finally here! Get ready to plant the beautiful trees and perennials if you ordered this year. Pick-up details: Friday, April 24 from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 25 from 8:00 a.m. to Noon at ODNR Division of Wildlife District 1 Headquarters, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus 43215. Read More

Local Governments

With the passage of Senate Bill 150 last session and Senate Bill 1 in March, we now have improved regulations to better address nutrient runoff and harmful algae blooms in the Western Lake Erie Basin.  Efforts are also underway to make updates to ORC 1515 to better align resources to address agriculture pollution concerns between state agencies within the current budget bill.   

These current budget bill changes assume that 100% of Soil and Water Conservation District work is in agriculture.  Almost 50% of our work is working with landowners, residents and students who do not engage in agriculture and about 25% of our work directly addresses urban communities and stormwater runoff.  The proposed changes ORC 939 and 940 eliminate a majority of the non-farm language that was under ORC 1515 and have the potential to eliminate the purpose and scope of work done by Soil and Water Conservation Districts over the long term.  Read More