Results Water Quality Category

# 1 Water Quality Degradation Due to Chemical Pollution From Both Point and Non-Point Sources.

Ranking: 88 points / 23 people (2024) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Chemical pollution into lake, stream & groundwater
  • Air pollution - airborne contaminants
  • Urban use of lawn chemicals
  • The need to eliminate mixing zones
  • Runoff into tributary of ag-pesticides
  • Use of industrial chemicals - as part of air pollution
  • Impact of chlorine on water quality (Bleached paper)

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

  • Need more straight forward regulations - more outreach for agriculture.
  • Develop loading profiles - Mass Balance - identify the largest impact sources.
  • Study sanitary sewer systems in the coastal zone area.
  • No action alternative without specific problem identification.
  • Tighter chemical regulations - lawns.
  • Ban mixing zones.
  • Cost figures for air pollution per kilogram/ pound emitted. Cost based on clean- up or neutralization of pH.
  • Public education of lawn chemical use.
  • Greater environmental education in the water quality area.
  • Solutions should not transfer pollution.
  • No action alternative without cost / benefit analysis.
  • Lower existing allowable levels of industrial pollution.
  • Construct wetlands to control agricultural chemical runoff.
  • Provide incentives for pollution prevention.
  • Use wetlands to hold runoff. (i.e. INDOT roadways)
  • Restrict government approval for use of pollutants. (i.e. aerial application of chemicals) Study wind drift.
  • Promote non-chemical water treatment.
  • Developers should follow Rule 5 erosion control BMP's (Best Management Practice).
  • No action alternative without analysis of existing regulations.
  • Support watershed management in the Lake Michigan basin.
  • Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) should hire more people to track Rule 6.
  • Identify and dedicate wetlands in watersheds where point and nonpoint pollution is occurring.
  • Carry and collect water by hand to gain an appreciation for the resource.
  • Tighter enforcement of existing laws.
  • Promote agricultural filter strips.
  • Strict enforcement of the laws for industry discharge.
  • Systematic monitoring for tracking of pollutants.
  • Advocate biological fertilizer instead of chemical fertilizers.
  • Reverse the educational process, in place today, on the use of chemicals.
  • Promote pollution prevention programs.
  • Have the state adopt water quality criteria under the Great Lakes Initiative.
  • Education for private water well systems.
  • No action alternative without sound science.
  • Eliminate the practice of trading or selling of pollution credits. Promote source reductions.
  • Cost / benefit analysis should include the cost to the public caused by pollutants, and benefits should include non-monetary benefits to the public.
  • Study the effects of zebra mussels and larvae.

# 2 Water Quality Degradation Due to Bacterial Pollution

Ranking: 78 points / 23 people (1794) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Sewage discharge; storm water overflow into sewage discharge systems
  • Beach closings due to high E. coli counts
  • Need to control contamination of well water and wetlands from septic systems

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

  • Greater control for septics near wells and wetland sites
  • Need better bacterial tests than E.C. ( E. coli) and F.S. (Fecal strep) counts.
  • Strengthen septic tank regulations: i.e.
  • minimum lot size
  • soil conditions
  • slope of site
  • permeability
  • water table
  • Open Derby and Kintzele's ditch.
  • Open Burns Waterway at Burns Ditch.
  • Identify all harmful bacterial / pollution sources. Give the names.
  • Segregate CSO's (combined stormwater and sewer overflow systems).
  • Fund studies of pollution sources.
  • Establish how monitoring E. coli on beaches and sources should be done.
  • Study affects on Dunes Creek - bacterial levels at the culvert pipe.
  • Identify all drywells and eliminate them for septic use. Monitor houses at lakes and streams for septic discharges.
  • No action alternative without problem identification. (the death toll due to water quality at beaches vs. deaths due to the breakwater at Burns Ditch).
  • No action alternative without evaluation of current environmental laws, administrative policy and regulations.
  • Educate the public on pet waste laws.
  • Investigate ways to reduce CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) by-passes.
  • Educate homeowners on the misuse of chlorine to get septic systems approved by health departments.
  • Close Kintzele's and Derby ditches due to bacterial contamination.
  • Stricter enforcement by health departments on septic systems.
  • Investigate impacts of perimeter drains.
  • Closer monitoring and education on wetlands to reduce bacterial pollution.
  • No action alternative without sound science.
  • Go back to outhouses and thunder pots.
  • Have DNR work with County Drainage Boards to better manage drainage.
  • Educate the public on the cost of separating sanitary and storm sewers.
  • Regulate boat discharges.
  • Initiate use of reconstructed wetlands prior to entry to ditches and the lake.
  • Ban future CSO's and educate the public to the costs, including the indirect costs of not getting rid of combined sewers.
  • Raise property (funds) to help people pay for replacing dry wells.
  • Strictly enforce regulations on the dumping of bilges by foreign shipping vessels.
  • Identify funding sources to help with upgrading septic systems.
  • Focus on Salt Creek to determine the extent of bacteria.
  • No action alternative without cost / benefit analysis.
  • Make it easier to license the application of sewage on agricultural land.
  • Cost / benefit analysis should include the cost to the public caused by pollutants, and benefits should include non-monetary benefits to the public.

# 3 Water Quality Degradation Due to Sediments.

Ranking: 31 points / 12 people (372) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Dredge of sediments and testing guide for sediment quality utilization of sediment for positive results
  • Problems of sediments from Grand Calumet River and Indiana Harbor Ship Canal

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

  • Watershed management to control sediment.
  • No action alternative without sound science.
  • What are the rules governing sediment dredging of the Grand Calumet River?
  • Dam and drain the waterway, then dredge sediments, during non-shipping months.
  • Study sediment traps after dredging occurs.
  • Educate the public about contaminated sediment effects on water quality and nonpoint source.
  • Develop uniform sediment testing and disposal criteria.
  • Compensate communities at the ECI dump site by protecting and restoring the natural resource areas.
  • No action alternative without representation by the people along Salt Creek and Trail Creek.
  • Do Environmental Impact Statements before selection of solutions for sediment disposal, etc. (dredging management)
  • No action alternative without a "takings" assessment. Responsible parties should be required to remediate sediment contamination (underwater contaminants).
  • Control erosion by keeping stream banks vegetated, etc.
  • Wetlands use for control of erosion.
  • No dredging without scientific knowledge of the impact or alternative solution.
  • No action alternative without cultural resources and representation by people immediately adjacent to the Grand Calumet River and Indiana Harbor Ship Canal.
  • Investigate natural remediation for sediments that are not highly contaminated.
  • Contact the Grand Calumet River Task Force for more information on problems.
  • Investigate the use of anaerobic bacteria for detoxification of sediments prior to removal.
  • No action alternative without cost / benefit analysis.
  • Find uses for treated sediments.
  • Educate the public that contaminated sediments affect the benthic community.
  • No action alternative without specific problem identification and evaluation of existing regulations and administration policies.
  • Cost and disposal of contaminated sediments should be borne by those responsible.
  • Cost / benefit analysis should include the cost to the public caused by pollutants, and benefits should include non-monetary benefits to the public.

# 4 Lack of Enforcement of Existing Laws Impacting Quality.

Ranking: 28 points / 10 people (280) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Properly implement water quality standards
  • Need to enforce existing laws

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

  • Hire more people to enforce existing laws.
  • Enforce existing laws.
  • Redefinition of 'water ownership'.
  • Educate the public on enforcement and compliance.
  • Replace existing laws with ones that work.
  • Provide grant assistance made available through Natural Resources Damage claims. (i.e. Natural Resources Trustees assessments)
  • Vote green.
  • Get government off our backs.
  • Stronger government regulations are needed to protect natural resources.
  • Law to enforce / prevent boaters from dumping bilge's nearshore.
  • Restrict the use of salts on roads - to only intersections.
  • Public notice of National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) violators.
  • Establish an enforcement section in Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) or IDNR.
  • Increase education about the worst non-compliance.
  • If existing laws do not reduce pollutants, now in the water, change the law to require lower levels of pollutants.
  • Need uniformity of laws between surrounding states.
  • IDEM and IDNR should not give grants to polluters.
  • No action alternative without specific problem identification, cost / benefit analysis, sound science and evaluation of existing regulations and administrative policies.
  • Cost / benefit analysis should include the cost to the public caused by pollutants, and benefits should include non-monetary benefits to the public.

# 5a. Increased Pollution From Runoff Due to Loss of Natural Filtering Processes.

Ranking: 27 points / 9 people (243) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Loss of wetlands and other natural areas to absorb runoff - result in toxic runoff

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

  • Make sure wetland mitigation projects are constructed properly.
  • Preserve existing wetlands.
  • Strengthen existing Clean Water Act 404 permits to include a prohibition against draining wetlands.
  • Use of filter cloth.
  • Strengthen existing community wetland ordinances.
  • Contour erodible soil.
  • Restoration of wetlands.
  • Update the wetland inventory.
  • Manage existing identified wetlands better.
  • Protect existing floodplains.
  • Size of wetlands should not be a criteria when determining wetland value.
  • Shore up the banks.
  • Establish (buffer) filter strips along drainage systems (creeks, streams, etc.).
  • Educate the public on the value of wetlands.
  • Decrease chemical dependency in agriculture.
  • Enforce deed restrictions of Corps of Engineers (COE) permits.
  • Protect upland zones for wetlands. (areas adjacent to wetlands)
  • Build revetments.
  • Education on the various uses of wetlands.
  • Identification of critical pollutants.
  • Protect the slopes adjacent to waterways and wetlands, by natural means, with existing and / or revegetation and re-forestation.
  • Control exotic species. (i.e. purple loosestrife)

# 5b. Need to Recognize Water as a Commonweal Resource.

Ranking: 27 points / 9 people (243) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Commonweal protection - common rights for all the people

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

  • Do not use Lake Michigan as a sink. (dumping area for Indiana's pollutants)
  • Recognize water as an important resource to all.
  • Develop new state-of-the-art private water well systems. (drinking water)
  • Educate the public to the value of water as a common resource to all people.
  • Recognize the definition of the waters of the United States to include: surface water, groundwater and wetlands.
  • Educate people to the water cycle and how people impact it.
  • Redefine water as a common good, not a free good.
  • Enforce existing regulations on water quality.
  • Discourage lawns as a landscaping tool - encourage other alternatives.
  • Enforce laws to restrict and fine offenders.
  • Water is not private property and should not be private property.
  • Any water returned to its source shall be as clean or cleaner than from which it came.
  • Proposal to redefine water as private property should not be passed into law. (i.e. HR 9)
  • Assess the true cost of dumping into common water sources - not based on current usability.
  • Stricter laws and punishment for offenders.
  • Use surveys to determine how the public values water.
  • Determine the impact of irrigation on groundwater (or any other type of dewatering process).
  • No taking of water from the Great Lakes Basin area. (no diversions outside the basin)
  • Address the problem of heat pollution - especially for groundwater - before it becomes a problem. (include Lake Michigan)

# 6 Pollutant Loading From Point and Non-Point Sources

Ranking: 20 points / 8 people (160) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Need to know the relative importance / loading of specific pollutants - point and non-point source

# 7 Economic Impacts

Ranking: 19 points / 6 people (114) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Need to identify economic impacts

# 8 Private Property Rights

Ranking: 16 points / 5 people (80) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Private property rights protection

# 9 Impact of Non-Native Species

Ranking: 9 points / 7 people (63) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Impact of non-native species (i.e. Zebra mussels and purple loosestrife)

# 10 Environmental Education in Schools

Ranking: 12 points / 5 people (60) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Need to get down to high school level education - environmental issues

# 11 Elimination of Pollution Credits

Ranking: 11 points / 5 people (55) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • The need for elimination of pollution credits

# 12 Coordinated Permitting Processes

Ranking: 11 points / 4 people (44) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Need for a coordinated permitting process

# 13 Bio-Accumulation of Contaminants

Ranking: 9 points / 4 people (36) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Contaminant bio-accumulation up through the food chain

# 14 Existing Indiana Pollution Prevention Programs

Ranking: 5 points / 3 people (15) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Need to implement current Indiana pollution prevention programs

# 15 Overlapping Bureaucracy

Ranking: 4 points / 3 people (12) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Overlapping bureaucracy - "government"

# 16a. Lack of Regulations on Pollution Caused by Boaters

Ranking: 1 point / 1 people (1) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Lack of regulations on boaters who throw waste into the water

# 16b. Not Knowing the Natural Cycle.

Ranking: 1 point / 1 people (1) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES

  • Not knowing the natural cycle

#17 Need to Clean Up Lead Pollution From Former Skeet Shooting Facility.

Ranking: 0 points / 0 people (0) (Water Quality Category)

ISSUES