Encouraging water quality test results underscore the need for more bubbling aerators
February 2022 – Buckeye Lake for Tomorrow (BLT), a non-profit community organization dedicated to improving water quality in the Buckeye Lake Watershed, today announced that water testing results reported by an independent environmental lab revealed a very significant decrease in bacteria and toxins that produce algae. These water quality improvements are the result of several bubbling aerator units that were installed to add oxygen into selected Buckeye Lake tributaries, canals and inlets.
“The goal of the BLT aeration projects was to reduce the contaminants that cause algae blooms to form,” said Matt Baumann, BLT director. “The test results provide empirical evidence that the aeration systems work to help improve water quality.” Baumann, who spearheaded the aeration projects, added that in the Millersport Canal the total cyanobacteria and saxitoxins were practically eliminated after the aerator system was installed last March.
Water samples collected in 2021 revealed that the cyanobacteria levels at the Millersport Canal decreased by 98% and the saxitoxins became too low to detect, as compared to the same time period in 2020. Consistent with the Millersport Canal test results, the water samples collected at the Copper Penny Canal revealed an 80% decrease in saxitoxins and a 41% decrease in cyanobacteria during the first four months after the aerator system was installed in July 2021.
Buckeye Lake for Tomorrow has been promoting water quality since 2008 for the benefit of recreation, agriculture, wildlife and other users of the Buckeye Lake Watershed aquatic resources. “Bubbling aerator systems are a part of BLT’s work with various stakeholders to promote sustainable water quality initiatives that include sediment dredging, goose management, nutrient reduction and wetlands,” said BLT president, Pete Thomas.
Baumann also noted, “In addition to the scientific analysis, the water surrounding the aerator systems is visibly clearer and cleaner for swimming, boating and fishing.” Buckeye Lake for Tomorrow is working with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, homeowner associations, local business owners and the Buckeye Lake Region Corporation (BLRC) to install additional aerator systems in 2022.
Water quality continues to be a top priority and area of concern for community members across the Buckeye Lake Region. In a recent focus group conducted by the BLRC, water quality topped the list of projects that community members would like to see the organization support in 2022. The BLRC has launched a fund-raising campaign to direct funds primarily to the water quality improvement efforts of BLT. To support this initiative, visit https://blrfoundation.org/donate.html; donors are encouraged to designate “water quality initiative” with their donation.
About Buckeye Lake for Tomorrow
Buckeye Lake for Tomorrow Inc., is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3), of the Internal Revenue Code. We strive to promote the reduction of nonpoint pollution from all potential sources that may include agricultural, commercial, residential and recreation. Develop and offer youth-adult educational opportunities regarding relevant watershed management topics. Foster cooperation between agriculture, commercial residential and recreational interests in order to enable coordinated action toward common goals. Assist area decision makers in the development and coordinated adoption of sound watershed management policies. https://www.buckeyelakefortomorrow.org/
About the Buckeye Lake Region Corporation
The Buckeye Lake Region Corporation (BLRC) was officially formed in September 2017. The BLRC is a tri-county alliance between Licking, Perry and Fairfield counties and is open to all political and civic entities in the tri-county region. The mission of the Buckeye Lake Region Corporation is to coordinate, manage and execute initiatives that support the Buckeye Lake 2036 Vision and the Buckeye Lake Region Declaration. Financial support for these initiatives is provided by the Buckeye Lake Region Community Foundation. https://www.blrc2036.org/index.html