Western Lake Erie Basin Nutrient Source Inventory


Lucas County
Lucas County Board of Commissioners
Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission


Toledo, OH

CEC Services

  • Stream Assessments and Restoration
  • TMDL Modeling and Monitoring
  • Water Quality and Quantity Modeling
  • Water Quality BMP Testing
  • Watershed Planning and Restoration
  • GPS/GIS Services
  • Web and Mobile Application Development

Owner Objective

The Lucas County Board of Commissioners’ goal for the first phase of this project is to identify causes of impairment and pollutant sources that need to be controlled to achieve desired nutrient load reductions and reduce the Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in the Western Lake Erie Basin.

CEC Approach

In June of 2015, CEC was hired by the Lucas County Board of Commissioners to implement the first phase of a nutrient sources assessment for the Western Basin of Lake Erie watershed. The first phase of the nutrient sources assessment entailed conducting a desktop review of available information to identify and better understand potential primary nutrient contributors in the watershed. An inventory was developed, and GIS is now utilized to manage a database and develop interactive maps of the potential primary nutrient contributors assessed in the first phase, which include:

  • Row Crop Agriculture
  • Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
  • Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs)
  • Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs)
  • Industrial NPDES Dischargers
  • Critical Unsewered Areas

The assessment also included readily available surface water quality sample data from monitoring locations throughout the watershed. Upon completion of the assessment, an interactive user-friendly GIS-based mapping tool will be linked to the Lucas County and City of Toledo websites to make the information available for public use. A “Guidance Manual” report was developed and included in the GIS-based mapping tool to document CEC’s methodology, data sources, and findings, and also to provide recommendations for how to proceed in the second phase.

CEC is working with numerous stakeholders, including, but not limited to, U.S. EPA, USDA-NRCS, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Ohio EPA, the Michigan DEQ, the Indiana DEM, the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG), NRCS, Heidelberg University, the University of Toledo, USGS and local governments throughout the watershed.

The interactive Nutrient Source Inventory is currently going through a peer review process. After the peer review process is complete, the Inventory will be turned over to the client to be hosted on their website. The interactive Inventory will be used to inform elected officials, the general public and others about the sources of nutrients in their respective watersheds.