Ohio River

Mapping Out The Toxic Wastewater Discharges Along The Ohio River

Jan 20, 2020
ohio river smale park
Leigh Taylor / Eye on Ohio

All Tim Guilfoile wants to do is fish. Before his retirement, he had two careers: one in business and one in water quality activism. Now, he serves as the director of marketing and communications for Northern Kentucky Fly Fishers. "We fly fish for bass, blue gill, striped bass and others. Not just trout. I fish on the Ohio River."

Will he eat the fish he catches in the Ohio River?

"Oh God, no!" he said.

parkersburg west virginia
Lexi Browning/100 Days in Appalachia

Tommy Joyce is no cinephile. The last movie he saw in a theater was the remake of True Grit nearly a decade ago. "I'd rather watch squirrels run in the woods" than sit through most of what appears on the big screen, he said.

Provided

Two local poets and favorites of Around Cincinnati, Sherry Stanforth and Dick Hague, have joined forces to produce a book that celebrates the Ohio River in words and images. Barbara Gray welcomes them back to our studio to discuss Riparian: Poetry, Short Prose, and Photographs Inspired by the Ohio River.

Recent Toxic Algal Blooms Gone From Ohio River

Nov 11, 2019

The Ohio River is free from harmful levels of toxic algae after more than a month of recreational public health advisories, according to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.

The cabinet lifted recreation public health advisories along the Ohio River on Thursday after recent water samples showed a decline in toxic algae.

The algae first formed in late September when drought conditions paired with hot temperatures produced blooms along a 300-mile stretch of the Ohio River. The blooms resulted in the cancellation of the Great Ohio River Swim in Cincinnati and the swimming portion of Louisville’s Iron Man Competition.

Hundreds of miles of the Ohio River are still contaminated with unsafe levels of toxic blue-green algae, though seasonal changes have helped to improve conditions over the last week or so.

Drought conditions across the Ohio Valley in September helped fuel the growth of harmful algal blooms. The algae led organizers to cancel the Great Ohio River Swim in Cincinnati and the swimming portion of Louisville’s Iron Man competition earlier this month.

Michael Monks / The River City News

The Ludlow-Bromley Yacht Club appears to be a total loss after a barge drifted toward it and ultimately crashed into it early Wednesday morning.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Updated: Monday, 1:12 p.m.

On Friday, a green-ish scum began forming in places along the banks of the Ohio River. At the time, the executive director of the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) wasn't concerned, but that changed this weekend. 

ohio river swim
Courtesy of the Great Ohio River Swim

The Bill Keating, Jr. Great Ohio River Swim – the only open water swim to cross the Ohio and back – takes place Sunday, Sept. 22. It's a rare opportunity for a swim across the river under controlled conditions. The Ohio will be closed to all barge and power boat traffic during the event.

Courtesy / American Queen Steamboat Company

Two paddlewheel boats from the Louisville area are coming to Cincinnati for the first riverboat race in the area in more than 13 years. The American Duchess and the American Queen face the Belle of Cincinnati at 3 p.m. Monday at the Purple People Bridge.

A massive slug of Jim Beam bourbon from last week’s warehouse fire entered the Ohio River on Monday after traveling more than 20 miles down the Kentucky River, according to the latest from Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet.

The plume is expected to hug the shoreline and dilute as it enters the Ohio River where it could continue to pose a limited threat to fish and other aquatic life, said John Mura, cabinet spokesman.

“The plume, which is about 23 miles long, entered the Ohio River very early this morning and began dissipating,” Mura said.

ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

This week FEMA investigators are in Ohio trying to assess the damage caused by tornadoes that hit the state Memorial Day. The National Weather Service confirmed 21 tornadoes struck in the state, damaging thousands of homes, apartments and commercial buildings.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

States in the Ohio River basin will be able to choose whether or not to follow pollution control standards set by the Ohio River Water Sanitation Commission. ORSANCO's board of directors approved the change at a meeting in Covington Thursday morning.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The directors of the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission are meeting in Covington this week to plan for the future. The board has been considering a change to water quality standards for more than a year, and could make a decision at Thursday's meeting.

bunbury cvg stage
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

One of the stages at Bunbury is moving. The CVG stage is normally set up at the bottom of the Serpentine Wall, but with the Ohio River expected to rise four feet by Sunday, it's being relocated to higher ground.

ohio river
Pete Rightmire / WVXU

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) is considering a new plan on water quality for the Ohio River. A previous plan, issued last year, would have reduced ORSANCO's oversight and allowed states to regulate discharges into the river.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The commission that sets standards for pollution in the Ohio River has been considering dropping those standards, but will accept more public comment before making a decision. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) has two webinars and three public hearings scheduled.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) is considering a new plan on water quality for the Ohio River, which is not as drastic as the first. Initially, the group had proposed eliminating pollution control standards and instead rely entirely on states to regulate discharges into the river.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The Ohio River won't crest as high or as late as first thought. The National Weather Service now expects the highpoint to be 55.5 feet in Cincinnati at about 7 p.m. Tuesday. Hamilton County Emergency Management Director Nick Crossley says earlier predictions were above 56 feet.

A multi-state commission charged with protecting the Ohio River decided Thursday to postpone a decision to dramatically alter pollution controls.

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, or ORSANCO, has been considering a proposal that would reduce its oversight of water pollution control standards along the Ohio River. The proposal, called "option 2" would eliminate the body's water pollution control standards for industrial and municipal wastewater discharges into the river.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County commissioners are opposed to a change in river quality standards.

The board said so in a resolution as the Ohio River Sanitation Commission considers an update to standards for the Ohio River. The update would bring ORSANCO's standards in line with EPA Clean Water Act.

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