Mill Creek Park officials consider dredging as quick fix for bacteria

Mill Creek Metroparks commissioners, Aug. 17, 2015
Meeting of Mill Creek Metroparks commissioners at the Metroparks Farm in Canfield. Aug. 17, 2015.

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Mill Creek Metroparks commissioners are discussing dredging as a way to improve water quality in Lake Newport. It was a topic of discussion at Monday night’s meeting.

“I think it’ll be effective.The question is whether it’ll be cost-effective”, says Metroparks Executive Director Aaron Young. “Any time you’re adding capacity to the areas behind the dams you’re going to allow for more water; more potential fish. More experience. But it all comes at a cost.”

Park leaders say It would take the gunk out of the bottom of Lake Newport, increase the water flow and put more oxygen in the water.

No recreational activities have been allowed on Mill Creek Park’s lakes for over a month now. The park system is 25-percent through its 12-week water testing program at Lake Newport. And the latest numbers were the worst of the bunch, showing increased levels of E. Coli.

Young says they won’t make any decisions until the testing program is completed. “It’s going to give us more information than when June came around. Now how much it shows us, we just don’t know yet. Which is why we want the process to play out and we’ll make our decisions once that’s done.

The city of Youngstown has a plan to fix the overflow from its sewers that contributed to the bacteria levels, but that plan could cost millions of dollars and not be finished for 20 years, according to city leaders.

All three lakes at Mill Creek are closed for at least the next few months while weekly water tests are done.

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