Jack O’Toole collected a bucket of water from the Ohio & Erie Canal where it empties into the Little Cuyahoga River close to the Mustill Store near downtown Akron.
O’Toole donned blue rubber gloves and used special strips to gauge the pH, alkalinity, hardness, chlorine and nitrites in the water. He measured the temperature of the water, gauged its clarity and gathered other data with his $100 kit. His wife, Margaret, recorded their findings. They also picked up trash.
The Hudson couple are Sierra Club water sentinels, part of a growing grass-roots campaign to monitor streams across Ohio using visual and chemical parameters.
The O’Tooles are among more than 200 volunteers who have been trained and are monitoring water quality on more than 100 stream segments in Ohio, said spokeswoman Amanda Keith of the Sierra Club’s Clean Water Campaign in Columbus.