Stormwater success in Prairie Township


By Amanda Amsel
Staff Writer

At a recent board meeting, Prairie Township was hailed for its stormwater management and educated on what it needs to continue to do to keep the current stormwater permit.

The permit, which is managed by Franklin County, holds the township accountable for six minimum control measures (MCM) that control stormwater runoff and pollution. These measures include public education and outreach, public involvement and participation, illicit discharge detection and elimination, construction site runoff control, post-construction stormwater management new development and redevelopment and pollution prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations.

“One of the biggest things Prairie Township needs to work on is public involvement and participation,” said Jennifer Fish, director of Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District. “It’s important that a public event in the township be held that addresses stormwater runoff.”

According to Kurt Keljo, of the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District, this could include a creek clean-up, installing rain barrels, installing a private rain garden or helping install a public rain garden. Another requirement that is particularly relevant to Prairie Township is monitoring construction site runoff as the township has had an influx of recent projects.

“Stormwater runoff and illegal discharges are the sources of pollution for which counties, townships and municipalities in urbanized areas have been given responsibility,” Keljo said. “The water in the lakes, streams, rivers and other bodies of water/waterways of the state of Ohio belong to the citizens of Ohio. Protecting the health of these waterways protects resources that belong to township residents.”

At the meeting, representatives from Franklin County Public Health also discussed providing financial assistance to township residents to replace their faulty septic tanks through the Ohio EPA Water Pollution Loan Fund (WPCLF).

“Part of this program allows for the repair or replacement of household sewage treatment systems that are failing or causing a nuisance at no or low cost to homeowners,” said Charlie Broschart, environmental health division manager for Franklin County Public Health. “Franklin County Public Health will apply this month for this WPCLF funding for the 2016 calendar year.”

If the department receives the $300,000, it would let residents in all the jurisdictions in Franklin County they serve apply, including Prairie Township residents.

According to Broschart, in the past residents that are at or below the poverty level received 100 percent funding, while those at 85 percent poverty level paid for a portion of the cost associated with the replacement.

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