CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss

Ohio EPA Reports Results of Sandy Creek Watershed Study

An Ohio EPA report finds Northeast Ohio’s Sandy Creek watershed provides a relatively healthy environment for fish and other aquatic life.

The report Biological and Water Quality Study of the Sandy Creek Watershed provides results from an extensive 2010 examination of Sandy Creek and its tributaries. Ohio EPA biologists assessed the chemical, physical and biological attributes of the watershed and identified areas needing improvement. A total of 48 stream sampling locations were evaluated for aquatic life and recreational use potential. Sixteen sites on the mainstem of Sandy Creek were sampled along with 32 locations on 16 tributaries.

More than 75 percent of the sites sampled for water chemistry, physical habitat, fish and macroinvertebrates were found to be in full attainment of designated or recommended aquatic life uses. The overall biological integrity of the basin was good as evidenced by the presence of cold water fish in some sampling locations.

The Sandy Creek basin flows through Carroll, Columbiana, Stark and Tuscarawas counties and empties into the Tuscarawas River near Bolivar. A great majority of the land is comprised of forests, pastures and crops. Only seven percent of the area is developed and no community in the watershed is larger than 4,000 residents.

Ohio EPA has one of the most advanced water quality monitoring programs in the nation. The information gathered helps guide the Agency’s issuance of discharge permits and implementation of local storm water programs. The Agency also shares the information with area governments, landowners and citizens so they can develop local plans to restore waterways impacted by pollution.
The report and related information is available online (click on “Sandy Creek” tab).

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. In the past 40 years, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Ohio EPA….40 years and moving forward.