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  • Location: Columbus, Ohio

Local watershed advocacy group Friends of Alum Creek and Tributaries (FACT) took the opportunity to restore two reaches of Alum Creek in Columbus, Ohio when the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified water quality issues with two low head dam pools in the creek. Led by B&N and funded by a Section 319 grant, the design-build project called for a solution that would remedy the low biodiversity and dissolved oxygen responsible for the poor water quality conditions. 

B&N assessed several alternatives to restore the natural flow regime of the stream, including full and partial removal of the dams. The relatively low channel slope meant the low head dams could be completely removed without the need to replace them with alternative structures. Potential impacts on six bridge crossings in the dam pools were also evaluated. 

The two dams were removed, resulting in restoration of approximately two miles of Alum Creek with benefits including an improved stream ecosystem, increased recreational access, and improved safety. Post-construction monitoring conducted by Ohio EPA indicated that the project area was returned to Warmwater Habitat (WWH) conditions in less than one year.