Toledo Water Intake Buoy and Sonde Sensors

The water treatment industry recognizes the potential harmful effects of HABs and is attempting to close gaps in understanding and detecting HABs.  The Department of Public Utilities, Division of Water Treatment is concerned about the long-term protection of consumers from the potential consequences of algal toxins in drinking water and is pursuing innovative ways of monitoring water quality as related to HABs.Toledo Water Intake Buoy

On August 7, 2014, the scientific LimnoTech Toledo Water Intake buoy and monitoring sensors were deployed in the Western Basin of Lake Erie near the intake to assist with gathering real-time environmental data and to monitor harmful algal blooms (HABs) that are predominant and common in the Great Lakes.

The sensors deployed with the buoy allow the Water Treatment facility to obtain accurate information for a variety of different indicators.  The real-time information is collected every 10 minutes from the sensors.  Each sensor performs a specific function.

The LUFT WS 501 deployed 6 ft above the water monitors wind speed, direction, gust, air temperature, RH, dewpt, barometric pressure and solar radiation.

The Nortek AWAC 1MHz deployed on the bottom looking up observes water speed and direction at 1m increments, wave height, period and direction.

The YSI EXO2 deployed 2 ft below the surface detects water temperature, conductivity, pH, ORP, TDS, turbidity, total algae (blue-green algae and chlorophyll).  A second YSI EXO2 deployed 14 ft below the surface detects all of the same parameters plus the dissolved oxygen.

In addition, the Campbell CC5MPX video camera captures the 5 MP images and 720p clips.

This invaluable real-time data from this buoy will assist the Water Treatment facility in protecting the drinking water supply and provide important environmental information to other researchers on all levels from NOAA, Federal EPA, Ohio EPA, DNR and Army Corps.  Other organizations such as the news media outlets, coast guard, charter boat operators, recreational boaters and others also utilize these observations to assist them.

The wind and wave observations from the buoy reported to the NOAA National Data Buoy Center (NDBC).  The NDBC acts as the federal gateway for marine observations and shares data with the NOAA National Weather Service, NOAA National Ocean Service, and the US Coast Guard Search and Rescue data information systems.  All of these organizations will use data directly from the buoy to improve weather forecasts in the region of the intake.  It will also greatly improve their ability to track and predict the movement of harmful algal blooms within the Western Basin.  The new buoy will be measuring water currents, which is the only real-time instrument in Lake Erie.  It is also only the second station to report wind speed and direction in real-time in the western basin, (the other one is at Toledo Light #2).  In addition, the buoy is measuring wave height, which is the only station measuring waves in real-time in the western basin.

Along with the buoy, there are two water quality Sonde sensors that detect the water temperature, specific conductivity, pH, turbidity, chlorophyll and blue-green algae.

One Sonde is installed 10 ft below the surface inside the crib structure and the other Sonde is installed at the Low Service Pump Station.

Observations from the buoy and sonde sensors can be acquired thru the Michigan Technological University Great Lakes Research Center's UGLOS - Upper Great Lakes Observing System website.

To view the Crib Sonde information click here.
To view the Low Service Pump Station Sonde information click here.

To view the Toledo Water Intake Bouy information click here.

The latest basic marine information from the buoy station may also be obtained by texting 45165 to 734-418-7299 and it will reply with the latest wind speed, direction, gust, water temperature, wave height and period.

Furthermore, images and videos clips are transmitted from the buoy hourly. 

  • To view the most current images click here
  • To view the most current video click here
  • Archive images and videos can be access at the LimnoTech Webcam Gallery.

 Below are a few links where the data from the buoy will be utilized: