Cleveland expands network of “smart buoys” to monitor Lake Erie water quality

Across lake eriea growing network of digital monitors that serve as early warning systems for weather and water quality.

This week, Cleveland Water Alliance (CWA) officials redeployed several “smart” buoys for environmental monitoring to Lake Erie along Ohio’s northern coastline.

The recent deployment joins a large system of about 20 smart buoys already in use across Lake Erie. This is the third year the network has been launched to deliver real-time data directly from the lake.

“These buoys have allowed us to install sensors that detect things like E. coli, harmful algae and dissolved oxygen,” said Evie Holst, director of clusters and innovation for the Cleveland Water Alliance. . “The earlier we can identify these threats, the sooner public health officials can issue warnings and water plants can adjust how they treat drinking water.”

Lake Erie’s network of “smart buoys” collects real-time insight data and serves as an early warning system for potential problems in Cleveland’s waters. (Stephen Goyne/FOX News)

Freeboard Technology, an Ohio-based company, builds and maintains smart buoys on Lake Erie.

“Due to growing water pollution problems, changing conditions and public health concerns, we felt an urgent need to specialize. Environment focused on water Ed Berhame, president of Freeboard Technology, said: “Our partnership with CWA has allowed us to build an unparalleled network not only for the health of water ecosystems and neighboring communities, but also for companies looking to develop and test new products in this market. It is important.”

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Although Lake Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume, it is one of the most “digitally connected” freshwater bodies in the world. (Stephen Goyne/FOX News)

The smart buoy system is part of a larger effort by the Cleveland Water Alliance to foster innovation on Ohio’s North Shore. Lake Erie is the smallest by volume and shallowest of the Great Lakes, but he’s one of the most “digitally connected” freshwater bodies in the world, according to the CWA.

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Holst told Fox News that the Cleveland Water Alliance has established the Lake Erie Basin as the world’s largest “smart” freshwater basin, with a telecommunications network covering more than 6,000 square miles of open water bodies, rivers, streams and wetlands. said to have built It is projected to double in the next few years.

“Because we are building such a large coverage umbrella on the lake, innovators from all over the world will be able to come here and try out the technology,” Holst said.

Website screen displaying real-time data from smart buoys

In May, Cleveland Water Alliance (CWA) officials redeployed multiple environmental monitoring “smart buoys” to Lake Erie. (Stephen Goyne/FOX News)

The ‘Testbed’ program welcomes innovators at all stages, from start-ups to mid-sized companies to multinationals, allowing them to test their technology in a variety of environments including open water, wetlands and rivers. A “plug and play” approach standardizes locations, equipment and access while providing legal and insurance considerations.

“This is a premier property that positions Northeast Ohio and the Great Lakes region as a destination. water focused technologyresearch and business attraction,” said Brian Stubbs, executive director and president of the Cleveland Water Alliance.


Lake Erie’s water economy supports tens of thousands of local jobs in northeastern Ohio, generating billions of dollars in economic benefits. According to CWA, Ohio accounts for about 10% of her $15.3 billion U.S. water economy.

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