The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


        Oregon City Council on Monday approved an agreement with Mannik & Smith Group, Inc., Maumee, to provide professional engineering services for the Urban Runoff Capture and Otter Creek Restoration Project.

        The contract amount was $70,790. The project’s aim is to create a wetland near Otter Creek that will help reduce pollutants. The project area is directly upstream from the Western Basin of Lake Erie.

        The city applied for and received a grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for the design and construction of a stormwater treatment and wetland habitat restoration project near Eastmoreland Blvd., adjacent to Otter Creek, according to Public Service Director Paul Roman. The grant will reimburse the city for 94 percent of the eligible design and construction costs up to a maximum of $499,977 for the project.

        “This is the fourth ditch or stream system that we’ve tackled that continues to show Oregon as a leader in helping filter out nutrients,” said City Administrator Mike Beazley. “We do what we can to take care of our lake, to help with flooding and other challenges.” Beazley is referring to major improvements the city has made to Wolf Creek, Amolsch Ditch and Big Ditch to improve drainage and water quality.

        “This is the fourth and the last of the major stream systems. Council should feel good about our efforts over the years,” he said.

        “I also think this is a great project,” said Councilwoman Sandy Bihn, who is also executive director of Lake Erie Waterkeeper.


Storm flow

        The Urban Runoff Capture and Otter Creek Restoration Project will intercept stormwater from a 43-acre developed urban and commercial watershed and route it to a newly constructed wetland system. Natural wetland processes will be used to reduce non-point source pollutants such as Total Suspended Solids, e.coli, and Total Phosphorus within the system.

        The immediately adjacent areas surrounding the 2.1 acre wetland will be upland areas that will be seeded with native upland grasses. Presently, 54 storm sewer catch basins and manholes collect storm water along roadways and route this water directly to a 20’ storm sewer that discharges into Otter Creek, adjacent to Eastmoreland Drive. The project seeks to intercept the flow from this storm sewer and route it by gravity to the proposed wetland area, adjacent to Otter Creek.

        The project includes a single parallel stream channel that will reroute mid to high storm flows of Otter Creek. The vegetated water quality channel will be approximately twice the width of the existing Otter Creek. It will decrease flow velocities and help filter out suspended solids.

        The project also proposes to stabilize the banks of the existing Otter Creek. Due to the historical industrialized pollution of Otter Creek, and the potential for contaminated sediments to be found, the existing creek bed will be left untouched. If contaminated sediment is found during the project, it will be tested, handled, and disposed of in an appropriate manner.

        In addition to reducing pollution, the project will create a habitat for wildlife and increase greenspace within an urban neighborhood.

Walking path

        A walking path will be constructed around the project area to provide park-like recreational opportunities for the public who will be able to access the site. The path will include an overlook and park benches. A new parking lot is proposed at the north side of the project site. Parking lot runoff will be treated by a bio-retention cell before being discharged. Educational signage is planned to inform the public of the wetland system and native plantings.

        Bihn asked if the city conducts baseline water quality assessment tests after heavy rainfall near ditches and streams where major projects were completed to determine their success in drainage and water quality improvements.

        “I think it’s always interesting when we do these projects. One thing that isn’t done is a before and after in terms of what the runoff actually is,” said Bihn. “It wouldn’t be expensive. It needs to be done after a heavy rain because that is when you get the rush of drainage into a creek. We need to see if it’s achieving what we hope it does.”

        Roman said testing is required as part of the grant.

        “We are required to show that we’ve improved drainage,” he said. “We do have data for Otter Creek that we’ve collected in the last 10 years. We’re probably the only community that got a baseline when the rules first came out to show we’re actually improving it.”

        “I think we do a great job in getting a baseline,” said Bihn. “But I also think that after a heavy rainfall, we don’t always go out. And that’s really when the surge comes, especially in the spring - and perhaps in the fall as well. You can tell if your projects are really doing better or worse if you do it after a heavy rainfall.”

        Roman requested qualification statements from consultants to provide professional engineering services for preliminary and detail design of the project.

        In addition to the Mannik & Smith Group, Inc., professional consultants who submitted qualifications to the city include Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.; DGL Consulting Engineers, LLC; Foth Companies; and Hull, Inc.

        “I interviewed the top two, and decided that the Mannick & Smith Group was the most qualified consultant for this project,” said Roman. “They are definitely more in tune to the area, as well as the project itself. During our discussion, they had many cost saving ideas for the design and the construction.”




border wall

Do you think a wall along our Mexican border is needed?
316150039 [{"id":"305","title":"No, it's too expensive.","votes":"6","pct":13.33,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"306","title":"No, it won't work.","votes":"13","pct":28.89,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"307","title":"Yes, only a wall will protect our border from illegal migration.","votes":"26","pct":57.78,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /component/communitypolls/vote/111-border-wall No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...