The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 11, 2013

Thermometer swap is aimed at lowering mercury in Lake Erie

Conneaut sewage plant behind plan to provide digital devices

CONNEAUT — Employees at Conneaut’s wastewater treatment plant, hoping to keep mercury from Lake Erie, is ready to exchange old thermometers for new electronic versions.

People who bring in a mercury-powered oral or outdoor thermometer will receive digital devices between 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on July 20, said Brian Bidwell, the plant’s maintenance supervisor. Visitors will also have a chance to tour the plant, located at the foot of Broad Street at the lakefront, he said.

The program was prompted in part by the plant’s inability to meet water quality limits for mercury, Linda Fee Oros, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman, said Wednesday. The city successfully applied to the OhioEPA for a variance, and in exchange agreed to launch a program to “remove (mercury) from the environment,” she said.

The city already does routine testing for mercury at various locations around town, Bidwell said. “This is another part of our plan,” he said.

Anticipating a good response to the program, plenty of digital thermometers have been ordered, Bidwell said. After July 20, mercury thermometers can be dropped off at the city health department at the Conneaut Human Resources Center, 327 Mill St., he said.

Over the years, most people have heard about mercury levels in the lake via warnings about fish consumption.

“Mercury in the lake is a concern,” said Mike Settles, OhioEPA spokesman. “A number of (treatment) plants had to reduce levels to meet limits, and (the thermometer program) is one way to meet that limit.”

People who wish to take a tour of the plant should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes, officials said.

1
Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
CDC Director Warns Of A World Where Antibiotics No Longer Work Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'