Mill Creek MetroParks is currently experiencing water quality issues in Lakes Newport, Cohasset, and Glacier. The reasons behind these issues are very diverse and are the result of many factors and practices that have been ongoing for decades. The most notable of these issues involves the elevated levels of E. coli bacteria that were discovered within the Mill Creek watershed. A prominent source of the problem is the combined sewer overflows (CSOs) from the City of Youngstown’s sanitary sewer system. While easily identifiable and quantifiable to a degree, the CSOs are not the only contributor to poor water quality in the lakes. Other contributing factors throughout the Mill Creek watershed include (but are not limited to): effluent from the Boardman sewage treatment plant, suspended solids, agricultural runoff, residential fertilizer, pesticide & herbicide runoff, parking lot & street runoff and failing septic systems. All of these factors directly impact the quality of our lakes and recreational opportunities for MetroParks visitors.
Hopefully this situation will help to raise awareness about the various problems contributing to the watershed issues. Ideally this will lead to changes in these long-established negative practices that impact the water quality in Mill Creek. Improvement of the water quality in Mill Creek Park lakes is a monumental task that will require continual effort, widespread support and massive changes in various ongoing practices throughout the 47,000 acre watershed. Northeast Ohio is fortunate to have an abundant supply of fresh water, and it is our duty to ensure that water remains fresh and clean for generations to come.
The water quality tests are conducted and provided by the Mahoning County District Board of Health. The tests are to be performed starting July 29 for 12 consecutive weeks and will consist of three tests taken at each of the three locations.
To report any violations that would affect our watershed, lakes, creeks, etc. contact one of the following agencies:
Mahoning County District Board of Health
Main Office Number: 330.270.2855
Toll Free in Mahoning County: 1.800.873.MCHD
TTY service available by dialing 711 or 1.800.750.0750
Mahoning Soil and Water Conservation District
Are you AWARE?
Since its inception in the fall of 1999, AWARE has viewed water quality problems as a watershed responsibility and addressed issues on a watershed level. Viewing water quality as a watershed responsibility provides everyone with a sense of ownership, responsibility, and stewardship for improving and protecting water quality for everyone.
Connect with members of AWARE and learn about the watershed group, its mission and how you can become a watershed steward at a special evening meeting on Wednesday, September 23nd from 6:30-7:30 pm at the Boardman Township Government Center. The center is located at: 8299 Market Street, Boardman, Ohio 44512 .
AWARE is acronym for the Alliance for Watershed Action and Resource Education. We are a group of Mahoning County agencies and citizens who bring professional and personal knowledge of water quality management practices and partner together to provide technical assistance for improving the region’s water resources and residents.
AWARE is an alliance of stewards for the Mill Creek, Yellow Creek, and Meander Creek watersheds. We encourage green space preservation and restoration and enhancement of waterways by providing watershed education and technical resources for the community. Our vision is to be a proactive organization, regarded as a key resource for producing tangible water quality improvements on a watershed level.
Visit AWARE and stay connected through the following links: