Volume 10|October 2020
Ohio Water Resources Center Newsletter
From Our Directors
The Ohio Water Resources Center (WRC) would like to congratulate Dr. David Costello of Kent State University on his CAREER program award from the NSF. The funding provided by the Ohio WRC via the USGS 104B grant to Dr. Costello in 2016 generated the preliminary data that was leveraged for the grant. Please read more about Dr. Costello and his research in the 'Ohio WRC Research Highlight' section below.
As one of 54 Water Resources Research Institutes nationwide federally authorized by the Water Resources Research Act, the Ohio WRC has funded more than 50 water research projects. Our Ohio water researcher database includes approximately 240 researchers from 14 major universities in Ohio.

The Water Resources Research Act Program is a Federal-State partnership that plans, facilitates, and conducts research that helps resolve State and regional water problems; promotes technology transfer; promotes dissemination and application of research; trains scientists through participation in research; and awards competitive grants under the Water Resources Research Act. Investigators apply through the Ohio WRC for both 104B Annual Base Grants that help the Center to plan and conduct applied and peer reviewed research on water resources and 104G National Competitive Grants that promote collaboration between the USGS and university scientists in research on significant national and regional water resources issues.

We want to hear about your successes! If you have received seed funding from Ohio WRC that you have been able to leverage into additional grants, please reach out to the Ohio WRC email (OhioWRC@osu.edu).
Join us for the Ohio WRC-WMAO Luncheon Seminar on October 14th 
Maumee River sediments as a nitrogen source or sink to Lake Erie: the competing roles of ammonium recycling and denitrification
Featuring: Mark McCarthy, Research Scientist, Wright State University
Since the 1990s, Lake Erie has experienced toxic cyanobacterial blooms due to high nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) inputs from its tributaries. These blooms negatively affect aquatic life, pets and livestock, and humans, as evidenced by shutdown of the City of Toledo water treatment plant in August 2014. The Maumee River has the largest drainage area into western Lake Erie and is most responsible for high nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loads to Maumee Bay and the western basin. Previous studies have compared orthophosphate and nitrate (NO3-) loads from the Maumee relative to harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie; however, no studies have evaluated the transformations and fate of N within the river, even though phytoplankton biomass accumulation is seasonally limited by N in the western basin. The overall objective of the project was to determine whether Maumee River sediments are a source or sink of bioavailable N for primary productivity, including harmful cyanobacterial blooms in western Lake Erie. Preliminary results focused on dissolved gas fluxes across the sediment-water interface and suggest that Maumee River and Bay sediments exhibit active microbial processing, as evidenced by high sediment oxygen demand. While nutrient flux data are still pending (analyses delayed by restricted access to laboratory facilities during global pandemic), dissolved gas fluxes indicate that Maumee River sediments act as a net N sink, primarily via denitrification. River sediments thus perform a valuable ecosystem service by removing bioavailable N before it is discharged to Maumee Bay, where it can provide fuel for cyanobacteria bloom biomass and cyanotoxin production. However, isotope patterns for NH4+ also show that Maumee River (and Bay) sediments release substantial amounts of NH4+ to the overlying water. Since denitrification converts NO3- to N2 gas, and NO3- is energetically less favorable for cyanobacteria assimilation compared to NH4+, the positive effects of N removal via denitrification (and anammox) are mitigated to some extent by sediment NH4+ releases. These results support numerous other studies showing that watershed N loads into western Lake Erie and other aquatic systems impacted by non-N-fixing, toxin-producing cyanobacteria taxa.

The event will be held on October 14th, from 12:00 PM-1:00PM via webinar (Webinar Instructions will be sent to attendees on October 13th). Please register.
If you have any questions, feel free to email OhioWRC@osu.edu.
From Our USGS Partner
New USGS website provides water quality information for U.S. streams and rivers
Interested in water-quality concentrations, loads, and trends in streams and rivers across the United States? Check out a new USGS website with data from the USGS National Water Quality Network—110 stream and river sites with long-term, consistent data on water quality.

Use the website to access annually updated information on nutrients, sediment, pesticides, and streamflow. These data are collected to assess the status and trends of water-quality conditions at large inland and coastal river sites as well as in small streams in urban, agricultural, and undeveloped basins.
Figure: USGS National Water Quality Network (NWQN) Data, Water-Quality Loads, and Trends website. The large inland river site of Maumee River at Waterville, OH is selected.
News Updates
Have a news article you'd like us to feature in our Newsletter? Email us at OhioWRC@osu.edu!
Ohio WRC Research Highlight
Trace metal limitation of biofilm growth and metabolism: potential consequences for storage of nutrients in headwater streams
Small streams can be very efficient at slowing nutrient transport to downstream ecosystems by storing nutrients in biomass and potentially removing nitrogen and phosphorous through burial and nutrient transformations. The Ohio WRC funded Dr. David Costello and his team at Kent State University hypothesized that low trace metal concentrations in eutrophic streams in Northwest Ohio limit biofilm growth, contribute to saturation of nutrient removal processes, and limit biofilm storage of nitrogen and phosphorous.

After a water chemistry survey of twenty-six headwater streams in northeast Ohio, five streams with potential nutrient and/or trace metal limitation were chosen for biofilm growth limitation tests. Trace metal nutrient diffusing substrates increase nutrient and trace metal concentrations in a small area of the stream, allowing for greater algal growth if nutrients or metals supplied by the substrate cannot be found in the stream water. Algal growth differed greatly among streams, but single element addition did not stimulate biomass growth as much as multi-element combinations. The multi-element additions show that trace metals (especially Zn) may be a pathway for promoting biomass growth in streams, which can increase nutrient removal rates and ultimately reduce or delay the export of macronutrients to Lake Erie. Given that controlling nutrient sources is a major technique for controlling HABs, management efforts that consider trace metals may be an important new tool for addressing nutrient load reduction goals.

Dr. Costello is continuing this research through the NSF CAREER program titled "Beyond N and P: How trace metal limitation influences stream ecosystem function" which will expand to 98 Great Lakes streams to identify locations and conditions where trace metals are influencing algae.
Find out more about Dr. Costello's research by visiting his website. If you'd like to find out more about other Ohio WRC research projects, visit:https://wrc.osu.edu/past.
WRF Announces the Release of RFPs for 12 Research Projects
The Water Research Foundation (WRF) has released Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for 12 new projects funded through WRF’s Research Priority Program. This strategic program enables WRF to address broadly relevant subscriber issues, challenges, and opportunities with targeted research that lasts three to five years. RFP deadlines are Thursday, October 15, 2020 and Thursday, October 29, 2020. More information.
Submit Case Studies for IWRA’s Smart Water Cities Project
IWRA is now accepting Case Study Proposals for their Smart Water Cities Project. The Proposal Deadline is Monday, November 2nd, 2020. For more information, view the Call to Submit Case Studies on IWRA's website.
USDA to Invest Up to $360 Million in Partner-Driven Conservation
USDA is now accepting proposals for RCPP through the RCPP portal. Proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 4, 2020. For more information, view the Application for Program Funding on grants.gov.
EPA and Partners Launch Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS Challenge
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and partners are launching the Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS Challenge. The challenge asks solvers to submit detailed plans for a non-thermal way of destroying PFAS in concentrated film forming foam (AFFF), while creating the least amount of potentially harmful byproducts. The challenge closes on November 23, 2020. Learn more about the challenge.
To find more resources offered by Ohio WRC, please visit: https://wrc.osu.edu/resources
Policy Update
Ohio EPA Notification of Public Hearing on Proposed Rules - Credible Data Program (OAC Chapter 3745-4-02, -03, -04, -05, -06)
A public hearing regarding proposed amendments to five Credible Data Program rules in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-4 has been scheduled for October 8, 2020. Ohio EPA will be holding a virtual public hearing on the rules at 10:30 a.m. on October 8, 2020. The virtual hearing may be accessed here. The meeting will be held exclusively online.
Ohio EPA Notification of Public Hearing on Proposed Rules - Underground Injection Control (OAC Chapter 3745-34-09, -21, -63)
A public hearing regarding proposed amendments to three Underground Injection Control rules in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-34 has been scheduled for October 21, 2020. Ohio EPA will be holding a virtual public hearing on the rules at 10:30 a.m. on October 21, 2020. The virtual hearing may be accessed here. The meeting will be held exclusively online.
Ohio EPA Early Stakeholder Outreach - Water Well Standards Rules (OAC 3745-09)
The rules in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-09 establish regulations for defining, siting, constructing, disinfecting, sampling, developing and abandoning public water system wells. The early stakeholder outreach phase is an opportunity to shape the direction of rules before staff begin drafting rule language. By sharing your comments early in the process, Ohio EPA can consider different concepts and ensure our rule development takes into account the effects the rules will have. Comments are due by 5:00 PM, October 21, 2020 to dsw_rulecomments@epa.ohio.gov. Click here for more information.
Ohio EPA Proposed 'No Changes' - Rulemaking Governing Consumer Confidence Report Rules (OAC 3745-96-01, -03, -04)
OAC Chapter 3745-96 describes and establishes the minimum requirements for the content of the annual report that a community water system shall deliver to its customers. DDAGW is proposing to file the following rule with no changes.
Upcoming Events
49th Annual WMAO Conference and Symposium
November 2-5, 2020
The 49th WMAO Conference will be held remotely this year due to Covid-19. Sessions will extend throughout four consecutive days during the week of November 2nd. Abstracts are sought for 20-minute oral presentations or as a poster. More information.
ODNR - Ohio 2020 Virtual Rivers Symposium
Tuesday, November 3, 2020 • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM 
Presented by ODNR Division of Natural Areas & Preserves Scenic Rivers Program, Ohio Scenic Rivers Association and the Water Management Association of Ohio, this event brings together people who share an interest in Ohio’s rivers. Watershed professionals, naturalists, community members and all others who would like to learn and connect with other river advocates should attend. For more registration info, click here.
WEF Conference - Residuals and Biosolids Conference 2021
May 11-14, 2021 • Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio
Save the date for the 2021 Residuals and Biosolids Conference and plan to experience a robust program highlighting continued advances in the wastewater residuals and biosolids sector. Potential speakers are invited to submit an abstract for podium presentation, workshop, virtual presentation, or exhibitor mobile session. Click here for details.
Have an event you'd like us to feature in our Newsletter? Email us at OhioWRC@osu.edu!
Email: OhioWRC@osu.edu
Phone: 614-292-2807
Website: https://wrc.osu.edu/
Address: 311 Hitchcock Hall
2070 Neil Avenue 
Columbus, OH 43210