More than 1,000 tires, other debris removed from reservoirs

January 27, 2011

More than 1,000 old tires and 20 dumpsters full of trash have been removed over the past few weeks from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) reservoirs.


Staff members from the MWCD have been removing tires and other trash and debris from inside the reservoirs and along the shorelines at Atwood, Clendening, Charles Mill, Leesville, Piedmont, Pleasant Hill, Seneca, Tappan and Wills Creek reservoirs.

The MWCD has partnered with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) for the removal of the tires for recycling. John Bird, MWCD’s lake ranger supervisor who oversaw the work, said that the winter months offer the ideal setting for the cleanup projects since the lake levels have been reduced as usual.


“This was a complete team effort with MWCD staff members from our parks and other facilities working together to remove the old tires and the trash,” Bird said. “Tires in the lakes that we find usually have either been discarded illegally or were part of old boat docks that fell into disrepair or were abandoned.”


Some of the items removed from the reservoirs and around the shorelines include:


* Metal posts, pipe, wheel rims and other discarded metals that will be recycled.

* Car seats, chairs, household furniture, televisions, bed mattresses and plastic drums.

* Old tools

* A car engine

* Thousands of feet of discarded monofilament fishing line (this can be extremely harmful to fish, waterfowl and other wildlife, as well as presenting problems for boats when caught around propellers)


Bird said that the work also has helped MWCD staff members identify areas where dumping occurred that now will be gated off for more limited access for such illegal activities.


The work is part of a busy winter for the MWCD, which also has been working on shoreline stabilization and erosion control projects at numerous reservoirs.


The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Basin, the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio. Since their construction, the reservoirs and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving more than $8 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government. The reservoirs are managed by the MWCD and the dams are managed for flood-risk management by the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).


For more information about the MWCD, visit


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