Otter Creek dredging kicks off

The U.S. EPA has officially kicked off dredging of contaminated sediment from a 7-mile stretch of Otter Creek which extends through Toledo and Oregon, Ohio, before flowing into Maumee Bay.

The Maumee Area of Concern was identified by the United States and Canada in the mid-1980s as one of the most environmentally degraded areas in the Great Lakes.

Sediment in the lower 1.7 miles of Otter Creek is contaminated with elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and diesel range organics.

Dredging started about 1/4-mile downstream of Millard Avenue and will continue to its mouth in Maumee Bay.

A hydraulic vacuum-like dredge will be used to remove approximately 57,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the creek’s bottom.

The sediment will then be pumped through a submerged pipeline to the nearby Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority’s confined disposal facility.

The total amount of dredged sediment would fill almost three football fields, 10 feet high, said EPA.

The cleanup will be completed in the late summer of 2021. Afterwards, the dredged area will be covered with a foot of sand to create a barrier against any remaining contamination.

Photo: USACE