Fairfield would pitch in $2,300 for the nearly $10,000 needed for the project, and city officials hope the Ohio EPA will provide the remaining balance of the funds.
“We’ve looked at the whole creek, and now we’ll study a few sections, mainly the section close to the Great Miami River since that’s where the most water collects, and that’s where it gets the most turbulent,” said Public Works Director Ben Mann.
The city had performed a watershed assessment, including identifying all the Pleasant Run Creek branches. They scored each branch, looking at factors like the number of bends, erosion levels, and proximity to schools and parks. This next step, Mann said, will take that watershed assessment and evaluate the higher scoring or higher risk sections of the creek, mainly for stabilization for remediation solutions.
“Creek bank erosion is probably the main component,” he said.
Pleasant Run Creek runs across the city of Fairfield and into the Great Miami River just west of Waterworks Park. The eroding creek banks have a large source of sediment and associated materials after entering the Great Miami River. It eventually makes its way to the Ohio River, Mississippi River, and Gulf of Mexico, according to the city’s Ohio EPA grant application.
The remediation efforts will also protect public assets, like roads, utilities, and other critical infrastructure. Eroded creek banks could shift the ground, leading to shifts under roadways where some public utilities are located. Shifting ground could compromise water mains, gas lines, and stormwater conduits.
“You want to keep those protected so something doesn’t happen to those and break and spill into the creek,” said Mann.
According to the grant application, the plan could take upwards of nine months to complete, and its development would include stakeholder and public engagement.
Mann said this section is also where the city controls access as it owns property along this section, “so if we do need to cut back a slope or stage construction equipment, we’ve got a place to do that.”