MSD Launches Water Quality App & Website For Ohio River Recreation
Tools Are First Of Their Kind
With sunshine in the forecast for the first time in several days, the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati is launching a website and free wireless device app that can help water enthusiasts make informed decisions about where and when to boat, fish, paddle and engage in other water sports on the Ohio River.
MSD developed the Recr8OhioRiver tools in partnership with the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) and Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky (SD1.)
The Recr8OhioRiver tools focus on water quality (E. coli counts based on a predictive model), but also provide information on river conditions and weather. The tools show real-time marine traffic, fish advisories, Doppler radar, the locations of marinas and boat ramps as well as emergency alerts.
"It’s a first. They are the only known tools of their kind," said Tony Parrott, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati. "There is no other app or website out there that serves as a one-stop information source about the Ohio River in Greater Cincinnati."
Recr8OhioRiver website can be found at www.Recr8OhioRiver.org and the free wireless device application (app) for use on smartphones, tablets and other devices is available from the App Store and Google Play. MSD worked with local water quality experts and water sports enthusiasts to help fine-tune the tool and beta test both the app and website.
"Water quality in the Ohio River has consistently improved over the past 20 years," said MaryLynn Lodor, MSD’s Environmental Programs Manager. "MSD and its partners are committed to improving water quality and promoting the Ohio River and its tributaries as natural and economic assets to the region. This tool will help us accomplish that."
The Recr8OhioRiver tools were developed voluntarily as a public service for the Greater Cincinnati community to help promote safe recreation on the Ohio River. During heavy rains, raw sewage -- mixed with stormwater -- overflows from our sewers into local rivers and streams. The vast majority of overflows occur from combined sewers which carry both sewage and stormwater in the same pipe.
Hamilton County, Ohio is among the top five locations in the nation for urban combined sewer overflows or CSOs.
To resolve this public health threat and environmental issue, MSD has embarked on a major public works initiative called Project Groundwork to reduce and or eliminate CSOs into local waterways.
SD1 of Northern Kentucky has also launched a major effort to controls CSOs. The two utilities, along with ORSANCO, a semi-regulatory agency governing the Ohio River, formed a unique partnership in 2010, called the Recreation Management Program, to monitor water quality and provide water quality data to the public in a timely manner so they can make informed decisions about recreating in local waterways. The Recr8OhioRiver website and app were created as a result of the Recreation Management Program.