Stormwater project recognized with top environmental award

BATAVIA, Ohio (May 31, 2019) — The Clermont County Soil & Water District (SWCD), the Clermont Office of Environmental Quality (OEQ), and the U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development were awarded the top government stormwater project of the year at the 2019 Ohio Stormwater Conference held in Sharonville on May 8-10.

The project, funded by a USDA Conservation Innovation Grant, involved the installation of an urban stormwater detention basin on a farm in Jackson Township in Clermont County in 2015. Its purpose was to remove nutrients from soil runoff. The nutrients are one of the causes of harmful algae blooms in Harsha Lake.

Results have shown that 31% of total nitrogen and 31% of total phosphorus have been removed from the runoff.

“The need to address nutrient runoff is important because it degrades water quality and contributes to algae blooms that are occurring around the world,” said Jake Hahn, technician with SWCD. “The soils that we have in our county are very unique to Ohio and an ‘outside the box’ approach was needed because current management practices do not always apply in our area.”

The partnership that made this project successful, coined the East Fork Water Quality Cooperative, includes many county, state and federal agencies, landowners, and the private industry.

“This project speaks to the great success of everyone working together for a viable solution,” said Hannah Lubbers, Director of OEQ.