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Scioto Water Quality?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Scioto Water Quality?

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    I know the removal of the Main St dam (amongst others) was supposed to enhance the Scioto’s water quality downtown, but I haven’t seen any follow-up reports yet. I’ve seen occasional people out on light watercraft, but has anybody seen anything official about it? I assume swimming isn’t recommended, but is it cool to canoe/kayak in?


    Canoe/kayak, absolutely. In terms of the quality of water flow and what not, it’s absolutely open for those recreational purposes.

    As to the quality of the water itself, it’s an interesting question: I’m not sure that anyone has published any test results comparing the water quality now versus then.



    I’d like to see that report too. I have noticed a lot more wildlife though.


    Me too. Saw a turtle basking in the sun along the shoreline last weekend.


    Alex Silbajoris

    Yes you can paddle it. It’s a neat perspective on the downtown skyline.

    Be careful at the old dam site. I haven’t paddled past there but when you stand on the bridge it sounds like rapids. It seems they didn’t do a complete job of removing the structure.

    The water quality is probably the same but a big difference is the muck flushing out to expose a cobblestone bed. You can see the same change in the Olentangy alongside the OSU stadium. The stones provide cover for insect larvae (“macroinvertebrates”) and they’re the base of the food chain. There is a native species of fish called a Central Stoneroller.

    The fishermen are excited because these two dam removals create a free run from the Greenlawn pool to Dodridge. That opens a lot of spawning habitat.



    The monitoring of rivers is on a multi-year cycle, a particular river is monitored every so many years and the reports generally come out every two years, about a year or so after the most recent testing is done. The lower Scioto is listed as not recommended for recreational use in the 2014 report.

    If anyone can dissect the information, it’s all available HERE in the Ohio Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report.



    It was gross! Can you imagine it during the industrial revolution?

    Sort of related. What’s the chance the Santa Maria ever comes back . HA

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