Comments requested on
City's Wastewater Treatment Plant
Plain City's sewage treatment plant discharges to Big Darby Creek downstream of SR 161. It is in degraded condition, overloaded, and very much needs to be improved. The levels of pollution are serious, causing this portion of the Big Darby to fail to meet Clean Water Act goals, and causing the loss of many of Big Darby's renowned fish and mussels, perhaps for at least several miles downstream. Untreated sewage discharged from this plant has been observed as late as the summer of 2004. While there are other causes of decline to the Big Darby Creek and its tributaries in this area, the poor performance of this sewage plant is a major problem. According to Ohio EPA's 2004 report on Big Darby Creek's quality, Plain City's sewage is one of the outstanding problems in this part of the watershed -
"The Plain City WWTP was the main cause of degradation and partial biological attainment in this segment of stream. Nutrient concentrations immediately downstream of the outfall were always greater than the background median and often very high. Concentrations of suspended solids, nitrate+nitrite, TKN, and total phosphorus remained elevated over two miles downstream and were likely due to the residual effects of the Plain City WWTP discharge."
"Big Darby Creek Mainstem
Fecal coliform bacteria have become more prevalent in recent years with the higher mean concentrations in the headwaters dropping to the "normal" range of values downstream of Spain Creek. A definite spike was also noted downstream of the Plain City WWTP, similar to problems at the plant that were first noticed during the 1997 survey."
"Mean nitrate+nitrite concentrations showed decreases from previous surveys. Organic nitrogen (measured via TKN) was at levels comparable those documented in 1992 and 1997 in the upper and lower watershed. However, concentrations peaked downstream from the Plain City WWTP in both 1997 and 2001 indicating worsening nutrient enrichment downstream of the plant. Survey results obtained in 1979 exhibited much higher concentrations of TKN than other survey years indicating improved chemical water quality conditions for this parameter again except for downstream of the Plain City WWTP."
"In the 1990s there were losses in mussel diversity in upper Big Darby Creek around Flat Branch and in the middle reaches within and downstream from Plain City."
"Middle Big Darby Creek - Plain City to Little Darby Creek
A significant impact was detected downstream from the Plain City WWTP with both fish indices declining into the WWH range. The shifts in fish community composition detected were characteristic of a pattern of modest nutrient enrichment from a WWTP. There were several water chemistry measurements and physical observations supporting this conclusion."
Please see the Ohio EPA's news release and Madison Press article below.
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER
P.O. Box 1049, 122 S. Front St.
Columbus, OH 43216-1049
Tele: (614) 644-2160 Fax: (614) 644-2737
Citizen Contact: September 8, 2004
Jim Leach, (614) 644-2160
Kevin Johnson, (614) 644-2160
Ohio EPA Seeks Comments on Applications from Village of Plain City
Ohio EPA will hold a public hearing on Thursday, September 23, 2004, to accept comments on two applications from the Village of Plain City. The village is requesting Ohio EPA approval to increase its discharge of treated wastewater from 500,000 gallons a day to 750,000 gallons a day. The village also is applying to expand its current wastewater treatment plant at 225 Central Avenue in Darby Township. The public hearing begins at 6:30 p.m. in the training room of the Pleasant Valley Joint Fire Department, 650 West Main Street, Plain City.
The discharges from the facility, if approved, would not exceed the chemical-specific water quality standards that protect aquatic life and human health, However, there would be a change to the current water quality of Big Darby Creek. Therefore, Ohio EPA is required to consider the technical, economic, social and environmental aspects of the project.
The public also may comment on the proposed project and/or request to be placed on an interested parties mailing list by writing to: Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, Permits Processing Unit, Box P.O. 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049. Comments will be accepted through the close of business on Thursday, September 30, 2004. All comments will be considered before a final decision is made.
Arrangements to review the applications and related material at Ohio EPA's Central District Office at 3232 Alum Creek Drive in Columbus can be made by calling (614) 728-3778.
Public opinion sought in discussion of wastewater treatment plant
By BREANNE PARCELS
Press Staff Writer
Published September 17, 2004 11:33 AM CDT
Officials with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) want to know what people think about Plain City's plans for its wastewater treatment plant.
The OEPA will hold a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, in the training room at the Pleasant Valley Joint Fire District, 650 W. Main St., Plain City. Public comments will be heard about applications from the village to expand its wastewater treatment plant and increase the daily discharge volume from 500,000 gallons to 750,000 gallons.
Jim Leach, public information officer for the OEPA, said a stenographer will record all comments and questions during the meeting.
"The time frame for the permit process varies in each case," Leach said. "Written comments can be submitted after the public meeting and after that cutoff date, a reviewer will look at all the comments and questions and we'll respond to them."
Call (614) 728-3778 to make arrangements to review the applications and related material. The documents are at OEPA's Central District Office, 3232 Alum Creek Drive, Columbus.
Written comments about the project can be mailed to Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049.
Comments will be accepted until the close of business on Thursday, Sept. 30.