Threats to critical

The regions draft water quality plan identifies critical water resources that warrant special protection. These include drinking water supplies, state resource waters (surface waters in parks or environmentally sensitive areas), riparian zones and flood plains. These resources provide many benefits to the residents of Northeast Ohio, but they face many threats.

Threats to surface drinking water supplies

  • Increased rates of sedimentation and stormwater runoff due to shifts in land cover/land use in upper watersheds.
  • Increased loadings of toxic materials, including heavy metals and pesticides.
  • Increased salinity due to road salt runoff.
  • Increased nutrient loadings emanating from faulty
    on-site systems, small package plants, lawn care, and/or altered agricultural practices.
  • Loss of riparian [habitat along rivers] function in the upper watersheds which serve to reduce flowing pollutant loads.

Threats to ground water drinking supplies

  • Bacterial contamination due to faulty on-site system operation and maintenance.
  • Concentrated leaks, spills, or dumping of hazardous materials.
  • Over development of the resource either through over pumping or by over developing recharge areas.
  • Saline intrusion due to over pumping at depth.
  • Salinity problems resulting from road salt contamination.

Threats to state resource waters

  • Loss of riparian vegetation within a State Scenic or Wild River segment.
  • Stream channel instability problems related to the over development of the upper watershed and/or the loss of significant riparian vegetation in the watershed.
  • Habitat alteration due to increased storm water runoff from inadequately controlled development and from increased sediments loads related to poor construction practices.
  • Water warming due to loss of riparian vegetation in upstream reaches or to increased surface runoff volumes.
  • Impairment or threat of impairment of recreational uses due to bacterial loadings.

Threats to riparian zones and flood plains

  • Loss of zone effectiveness due to vegetation removal from expanded agriculture or resulting from development within the zone.
  • Channel instability introduced by uncontrolled storm water runoff from upstream sites.
  • Development in the zone which requires engineered protection due to channel flooding or stream bank instability.

Source: Clean Water 2000 Water Quality Management Plan


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