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Watershed Protection

The Great Miami River

Great Miami River

Clean, healthy riverThe LeSoursdville Water Reclamation Facility provides the wastewater services to the central part of southeastern Butler County and discharges clean water to the Great Miami River.

Great Miami Nutrient Trading Program

In 2005, BCWS joined with several other publicly owned treatment facilities to form the Great Miami River Water Nutrient Trading Program. The Nutrient Trading Program is supported by the federal and state Environmental Protection Agencies, the Ohio Farm Bureau, and local Soil and Water Conservation District Boards.

 The Nutrient Trading Program is important for Butler County because:

  •  Although tremendous improvements have been made in water quality over the last three decades within the Great Miami River Watershed, over 40 percent of the rivers and streams still fail to meet Ohio’s water quality standards. The remaining impairments originate primarily from non-point sources of pollution and include nutrient enrichment, excess sediment and altered habitat.
  • Runoff from agriculture land is the primary source of nutrients because agriculture is the predominant land use in more than 80 percent of the Great Miami River Watershed. The surface water in the Watershed is directly connected to the underlying groundwater that serves as the primary drinking water source for Butler County and is federally mandated a Sole Source Aquifer.
  • Participation in this program could save Butler County ratepayers from having to install costly nutrient removal technologies to its Great Miami River Watershed facilities. Butler County ratepayers could save money from not having to retrofit existing plants to meet upcoming nutrient limits on the discharge. Additionally, there is greater likelihood that the Great Miami River will meet the federally and state mandated water quality standards and goals through this partnership by implementing nutrient reduction projects on farms rather than through the traditional costly wastewater treatment plant upgrades.

The Miami Conservancy District is the main driver for implementing the Water Quality Credit Trading Program as an innovative approach to address these water quality challenges. An economic and market analysis was conducted to evaluate the viability of trading for the Great Miami River Watershed. The analysis shows a potential saving for communities of more than $350 million, and nearly $40 million dollars for investments in agricultural Best Management Practices.