Cathryn Stanley

Associate Editor

On a beautiful August day, three people were seen in a boat on Barnesville Reservoir No., however, they were not fishing.

On Thursday, Aug. 27 at Barnesville Reservoir #1, Ohio EPA staff, including Daniel Imhoff, Non-Point Source Coordinator and Andy Butler, an intern from the Division of Surface Water Southeast District Office and the Belmont-Jefferson County drinking water inspector, demonstrated how water quality data is collected. Multiple water samples were taken throughout the summer at each lake chosen for monitoring.

The agency is sampling the reservoirs to determine if they're meeting criteria for drinking water, recreation, fish consumption and aquatic life. These criteria are still being determined, and the agency's Inland Lakes Monitoring Program is still in its infancy.

Sediment also will be sampled. Analysis for parameters such as metals, organic chemicals, zooplankton (animals) and phytoplankton (algae), will help determine overall water quality, nutrient levels and beneficial use status. Imhoff said algae is a basic indicator of the health of a body of water.

Data collected statewide also will improve Ohio EPA's ability to classify lakes, identify impaired and threatened lakes and establish a database for future assessments. If certain criteria are not being met, improvements may be required in order to meet state and federal water quality standards.

Imhoff said it will take time before the lab results are known, but said that the data they were collecting looked typical. He pointed out that it was an above average year for precipitation, so if there were any problems with the reservoir's water quality, it would show up this year.

Ohio EPA began developing the program in 2006 and officially launched it last summer at eight lakes around the state, including several in southeast Ohio (Muskingum County): Dillon Lake, Frazier Quarry (Maysville Regional Water District Reservoir) and Cutler Lake (Blue Rock Lake). The second round of studies is under way currently at 13 lakes across Ohio, including three Barnesville reservoirs in Belmont County and Woodsfield reservoir in Monroe County. Additionally, staff is finishing up sampling work at Frazier Quarry (Maysville Regional Water District Reservoir) and Cutler Lake (Blue Rock Lake).

These lakes were selected for routine sampling because of their recreational popularity and importance as community drinking water sources.

Ohio EPA also is currently conducting a separate stream sampling project nearby in key central Ohio River tributaries in Washington, Monroe, Belmont and Jefferson counties. Local creeks include Captina and Sunfish.

Learning more about the Barnesville and Woodsfield Reservoirs will give the Agency a more complete understanding of the local watersheds.

According to village officials, Barnesville Reservoir No.1 is approximately 36 acres in size, offering shoreline fishing and water for the village's treatment plant. The plant processes and pumps more than 1 million gallons a day to area residents, including those in Quaker City, Bethesda and the Switzerland of Ohio Water District. The reservoir and plant are located on

Township Highway 25 (Waterworks Road) off Township Highway 26 (Lewis Road).

Residents of the village of Barnesville in Belmont County not only rely on three local reservoirs for drinking water and more than 800 million gallons of raw water storage, they also enjoy plenty of recreational fishing at those locations.

Cathryn Stanley/Barnesville Enterprise

Daniel Imhoff, Non-Point Source Coordinator uses a Horizontal Van Dorn Sampler to collect a water sample from specific depths of Barnesville Reservoir No. 1. The samples were taken as part of the Ohio EPA's Inland Lakes Monitoring Program.

Cathryn Stanley/Barnesville Enterprise

Andy Butler, an intern from the Division of Surface Water Southeast District Office, the Belmont-Jefferson County drinking water inspector and Imhoff, collect water samples. Butler is using an Integrated Tube/Composite Sampler to collect phytoplankton samples. Plankton are the building blocks of the lake ecosystem.