USEPA Methane Emissions Testing Information

Background: The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is conducting an investigation of methane dynamics in reservoirs. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is produced by microorganisms in reservoir sediments. The USEPA is supporting research to estimate the magnitude of methane emissions from reservoirs in the United States.

Lake Roaming Rock Work Plan: The USEPA will measure methane emissions from 32 reservoirs in Ohio, including Lake Roaming Rock, during the summer of 2016. Methane emissions will be measured from 15 locations in each lake using a device which captures methane rich bubbles as they rise through the water column toward the atmosphere (Fig 1). One device will be suspended from an orange buoy (11 x 15 inch) at each site. Buoys will be deployed on Sept 4th and will be removed within 24 hours.

In addition to methane emissions, many other indicators of lake water quality will be measured. These are listed in the table below (Table 1). The USEPA has stated that they would be happy to share the results of these measurements with the Lake Roaming Rock Board in the form of a written report.

If you see these buoys in the lake, please do not disturb them.

Figure 1: Methane bubble collectors. One collector will be deployed below each buoy.

Figure 1: Methane bubble collectors. One collector will be deployed below each buoy.

Table 1: Additional water quality measurements

water temperature
specific conductivity
dissolved oxygen
pH
redox potential
turbidity
chlorophyll
total nitrogen
total phosphorus
dissolved organic carbon (DOC)
total organic carbon (TOC)
dissolved greenhouse gases

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