Field to Faucet making strides in improving Ohio’s water quality

In the year since CFAES launched its Field to Faucet program, significant strides have been made in improving Ohio’s water quality.

Field to Faucet was conceived by CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron, who put $1 million in college funding toward the effort after harmful algal blooms caused dangerous microcystin levels in Lake Erie and shut down Toledo’s drinking water supply for two days in August 2014.

The initiative includes research, training and education, all designed to ensure safe drinking water while maintaining an economically productive agricultural sector, said OARDC scientist Jay Martin (pictured), professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Field to Faucet’s leader.

“The idea behind Field to Faucet,” Martin said, “is to marshal all the forces at Ohio State to better address the water quality problem and accelerate our research to reduce the amount of nutrients coming off agricultural lands and municipal sources and to maintain safe drinking water for cities like Toledo.”

Video: Jay Martin talks about Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms and the Field to Faucet program’s efforts to combat them.

“The idea behind Field to Faucet is to marshal all the forces at Ohio State to better address the water quality problem.”—Jay Martin

Beneficial research for water and farming

Currently, some 23 Field to Faucet projects are planned or underway. Examples include:

  • Developing field sensors that can quickly scan water and food for algal toxins.
  • Using land, air and space technologies to better monitor harmful algal blooms in lakes and farm ponds.
  • Conducting edge-of-field research that will compare nutrient runoff in side-by-side fields, each under different management systems.
  • To contact the source: Jay Martin at

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