As nutrient-driven harmful algal blooms continue to occur each year on East Fork Lake, Clermont SWCD remains focused on eﬀ orts to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus entering the lake. Recently, the District has been awarded four separate grants totaling $518,950 to construct nutrient removal wetland treatment systems, which studies have shown to be extremely eﬃcient in removing these nutrients. Two grants were provided by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and individual grants were awarded by the Duke Energy Foundation and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ H2Ohio program.
Clermont SWCD will construct the ﬁrst wetland treatment system at the site of the old Williamsburg reservoir, which borders the East Fork Little Miami River just upstream of the village. In 2018, Clermont SWCD partnered with Williamsburg to remove the old low-head dam and drain the 3-acre reservoir which was no longer used by the village as a source of drinking water. Under this project, modifications will be made to the floodplain and reservoir which will allow water from the East Fork to fill the reservoir during high flows. The water will then drain slowly from the reservoir into the constructed wetland, where sediment and nutrients will settle out before the ﬁltered water re-enters the river. Clermont County’s Oﬃce of Environmental Quality will monitor the water quality as it enters and leaves the wetland to assess the eﬃciency of the system. In addition to the expected water quality beneﬁts, the wetland will also provide quality habitat for native ﬁsh, mussels, migratory birds and other wildlife.
The project is currently in the design phase and we hope to begin construction in the fall of 2021. Watch our website and Facebook page for updates on this exciting project.