Center at Heidelberg University gets $135K to test rivers


Cash-strapped Heidelberg University's National Center for Water Quality is getting $135,000 to help cover its costs for screening the Maumee, Sandusky, Tiffin, and Cuyahoga rivers next spring.

The money comes from two grants announced last week by the Ohio Lake Erie Commission. The lab, renowned for its work in tracking farm runoff, will get a $120,000 grant to screen water at its Waterville, Fremont, Stryker, and Independence stations. It is getting $15,000 more to establish an advisory group for raising money because it is “currently threatened by a lack of stable funding,” the commission said.

The lab had funding sources dry up even though it tipped off state officials about impending problems last spring when it identified a record level of phosphorus in the Maumee and a near-record level of it in the Sandusky rivers. The region went on to its worst algae outbreak in decades.