Mercer County will be reapplying for a grant on behalf of the Lake Facilities Authority that would provide funds for the construction of the Coldwater Creek Treatment Train project, according to an article by Shelley Grieshop published in the Daily Standard.

Article highlights include:  

  • Mercer and Auglaize county commissioners – who jointly head the state-sanctioned Lake Facilities Authority – agreed that Mercer County would reapply for a $415,000 Clean Ohio Conservation Fund grant it failed to secure this spring to purchase land south of Celina for a proposed treatment train.
  • Mercer County will apply for the grant on behalf of the LFA because the LFA hasn't yet received a required subdivision code from the state.
  • Mercer County Commissioners also on Tuesday approved an intergovernmental agreement with the LFA to contract with engineering firm KCI for the estimated $2.5 million Coldwater Creek treatment train. 
  • The LFA in about two weeks should receive a $2.1 million grant that Ohio Department of Natural Resources earmarked for the treatment train in last year's state budget. 
  • The Prairie Creek project in Franklin Township is the first of its kind in Ohio and was completed last year. It draws about 1.3 million gallons of water daily from the nearby creek or the lake when the creek level is low. The water is treated with alum to deactivate phosphorous then directed through retention ponds, manmade wetland cells and a natural wetlands with lily pads and other foliage to filter sediment before entering Grand Lake.
  • The proposed Coldwater Creek treatment train would be built on land owned by Rick Uppenkamp, south of Coldwater Creek and west of Johnston Road. About 8 million gallons of water per day would be pumped from the creek and directed through various filtering basins and cells to nearby Grassy Creek before flowing into the lake.
  • Another section of the treatment train would be built where Coldwater Creek flows into the lake. About 250 acres jutting out from the shoreline – from the southern tip of West Bank Road south to the county wildlife refuge – would be dredged and transformed into a littoral wetland restoration zone.
  • The overall project is very similar to the design at Prairie Creek but in a much bigger format.
  • Coldwater Creek is considered the biggest loader of phosphorous into the lake, although its 12,390-acre watershed is the second largest of the tributaries/creeks entering the manmade waterway. The largest watershed linked to the lake is Beaver Creek, 12,935 acres, followed by Coldwater Creek, Big Chickasaw, 11,919 acres; Prairie Creek, 7,675 acres; and Little Chickasaw, 2,889 acres.
  • Treatment trains also are being planned for Beaver Creek, between Guadalupe Road and Montezuma, and for the Big Chickasaw near Hecht's Landing. The four targeted areas are responsible for about 80 percent of the phosphorous loading in the lake.