Forecast models for this summer water quality in Lake Erie indicate a greater chance of Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB).
The wet spring has not only caused Lake Erie’s water level to rise but has increased run off that could potentially lead to an algal bloom greater than 2018.
The Lake County News Herald published the following article on May 31, 2019:
Lake Erie harmful algae bloom projected to be more severe in 2019; Cleveland sewer overflow sparks advisory
On a 10-point severity scale (with 10 being the most severe), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as of May 30 is projecting a severity greater than 6.5. Last year’s bloom was recorded as a 3.6.
NOAA updates its projections weekly beginning in May with new data and weather models through the end of June. The final seasonal forecast will be made on July 11 using the measured phosphorus loads for the spring.
The May 30 update -- the fourth of the season -- increases the severity from a 6 forecasted May 23. NOAA said in its update the increase “reflects a new forecast of yet another heavy rain this week in the Maumee River basin.”
“There is still uncertainty in the forecasts of the locally-heavy rainfall events in June, and the maximum severity includes the possible occurrence of rain over the next several weeks,” NOAA stated. "Any bloom that develops will change with time and move with the wind. Severity forecasts do not indicate toxicity.”
Combined sewer overflow: On May 29, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District posted a public advisory at Edgewater Beach in Cleveland as a result of a combined sewer overflow.
So what can you do as one person? The Lake County General Heath District and Lake County Storm water have the following suggestions:
“Preventing The HAB”
Did you ever think that the things you do around your home could feed the algae that can grow in Lake Erie? Lawn fertilizer, grass clippings,
leaves, sewage, and pet waste
all contain phosphorus and nitrogen. If any of those things are on the ground, they will wash directly into the storm sewers that flow to Lake Erie when it rains. Remember, storm water is not treated before it flows to Lake Erie. Help prevent the HAB (Harmful Algae Bloom) in Lake Erie and follow these tips when cleaning up your yard this summer:
- Only use the necessary amount of fertilizer and apply when rain is not in the forecast. Sweep up any excess fertilizer from your driveway or sidewalk.
- Properly dispose of grass clippings and leaves. Never dump yard waste in a storm drain, ditch, or stream.
- Ensure that all sewage from your home flows to your properly maintained septic system or the sanitary sewer.
- Remember to pick up after your pets!
Although farmers receive much of the blame for HAB’s the nurseries in Lake County recycle most of their water. Therefore, very little fertilizer or pesticides was into streams, rivers and eventually Lake Erie.
We all need to do our part to keep Lake Erie CLEAN!