The Ottawa river is in the best shape it's been in over twenty years. Now the name of Hog creek can be something of the past. There have been many positive changes to the Ottawa river. Pictures your news now aired in may of 1992 showed fish that were deformed. It was agricultural runoff, industrial discharge, and sewer overflows that put a lot of pressure on the river but now there is a noticeable change. Dina pierce with the Ohio EPA said "it's just a tremendous turn around that we've seen. We've gone from less than ten percent of the streams in this area meeting their water quality goals to 74% in just 25 years."
The Ottawa River Coalition has been working to improve the river since the early 1990's and know there no time to rest on their laurels. Beth Siebert, Coordinator of the Ottawa River Coalition said "as the stream flows and after we rains and runoff from above lima we've got a considerable nutrient load coming into lima and that means a predominately agricultural pressures and those are going to have to be addressed."
This two year study is the most extensive study ever conducted on the river. Those that have worked hard to clean up the river are excited about clean healthy fish. "If you're a person who likes fishing as recreation you have a great opportunity right here and that was in downtown lima." said Connie Miller, Chair of the Ottawa River Cleanup.
Gary Sheely, Director of Utilities for the city of Lima said "we will be greatly reducing the contributions of the combined sewer overflow to the stream right now each one of those points discharges upwards to forty to fifty times. We propose to reduce that down to nine. We feel that will do and create a significant change in the river."
Eight five sites were checked, 30 on the main channel and 55 tributary locations. A final draft report should be released later this year.