UT-developed pond naturally removes phosphorous, bacteria from runoff water

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The UT pond on Wolf Creek The UT pond on Wolf Creek
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The University of Toledo may already have a solution to help clean the water in Lake Erie.

The university has created a pond that naturally cleans runoff water of the unwanted nutrients that pollute Lake Erie. The pond has already been running about two weeks, but UT researchers say it's already working.

The pond is located along Wolf Creek, which runs into Burger Ditch and out to Maumee Bay State Park. It collects all of the sediment, phosphorous and bacteria from the creek before it gets to Burger Ditch and then Lake Erie.  

Project organizers say they've already seen a 97 percent reduction in phosphorous in the water, and almost a 100 percent reduction in bacteria – both of which contribute to algal blooms.

This idea of a manmade drainage pond that naturally cleans runoff water could potentially be applied to other surrounding areas to help clean the lake.

"The big problem right now in regard to the harmful algal blooms is the phosphorous, which is getting out into the bay," said Daryl Dwyer, an associate professor at UT. "A lot of people believe that if you can cut down on how much phosphorous is there, you are going to be able to sort of control or mitigate the extent to which those blooms occur."

The next phase of the project involves creating wetlands, which are designed to remove any remaining contaminates from the pond.

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