FAQ - Blanchard River Watershed Partnership
Clean Water. Bright Future.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question related to the Blanchard River watershed or any question related to watersheds, water quality, monitoring, etc., contact us and we may include it here on our FAQ page.

What is the mission of the BRWP?

Encourage water quality improvements to our geologically unique, northwestern Ohio watershed, through sustainable land use, collaboration, conservation and enhancement of natural and man-made resources.

What are the activities of the BRWP?

  • Water Quality Monitoring
  • Stream Observation Walks
  • River/Stream Clean-up
  • Public Meetings to educate and hear concerns
  • Exhibits at county fairs and support to other community groups assisting the watershed like regional planning boards, parks, boards of health, soil & water conservation districts, etc.
  • Educational Workshops
  • Watershed Action Plans
  • Monthly Board business meetings and various Committee meetings

How is the BRWP funded?

Funds are raised each year by the BWP for its annual budget from members, sponsors and grants from public and private groups. Memberships and donations need to be increased to keep pace with the growing workload expected of the BRWP. Recent grants from groups include The Findlay – Hancock County Community Foundation, Freshwater Future, Environmental Defense Fund, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Great Lakes Basin Commission. All funds are approved by the Board of Directors and audited.

Does the BRWP have any authority of enforcement powers?

The BRWP can only encourage recommended actions, promote best management practices and suggest solutions and consequences to watershed issues. The BRWP has no special authority, powers or enforcement provisions within the Blanchard River watershed. The Partnership prefers to cooperate with landowners on long-term solutions and educating the public about their water quality.

Who runs the BRWP?

Volunteers govern the BRWP Board and Steering Committees. Board members are elected at the Annual Meeting to represent the various sub-watersheds and at-large members from various communities. See list of who’s who in the ORGANIZATION section, Officers and Committees. Interested individuals may express their interest to serve by coming to meetings or contacting the BRWP; others are recruited from areas of interest like, education, community water systems or citizen / professionals who can help further the MISSION. See Bylaws and Code of Regulations under Governing Documents in the ORGANIZATION section. A “watershed coordinator” is also hired through grant funds as a local professional consultant to guide the BRWP with planning and activities.

What is a watershed?

A watershed is any area of land where surface water drains into a common body of water. If water from a neighborhood drains into a particular ditch, a_watershedthen that neighborhood shares a common watershed. Where ditches from several neighborhoods drain into a creek or brook, then all of those neighborhoods share a common watershed. Likewise, a watershed would include the geographical area of all creeks and brooks that drain into a river.

In our area of northwest Ohio, you might live within a watershed that is drained by Eagle creek or Riley creek or any number of other creeks. As those creeks empty into the Blanchard River, then you can say that you also live in the Blanchard River Watershed.

On a larger scale, you can claim that you live in the Maumee River watershed as the Blanchard flows into the Auglaize River, which then flows into the Maumee. Of course, the Maumee River flows into Lake Erie, which means that you are a part of the Great Lakes Watershed, too.

Interestingly, just a few hundred yards south of the headwaters of the Blanchard River in Kenton, Ohio, water flows to the Scioto River, which flows to the Ohio River and on to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. So folks who live in the north end of Kenton have something in common with folks in Montreal, Canada, where water from the Great Lakes flows past on its way to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, while residents in the south part of Kenton have something in common with folks in New Orleans, near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Essentially, the quality of water in any watershed affects all living things within that watershed, no matter how large or small that watershed may be.

What watersheds affect the people of the Blanchard River Basin?

watersheds-map

What is a Watershed Action Plan?

*  Endorsed by EPA to address nonpoint source pollution as required by the Clean Water Act.

*  Highlights of a watershed action plan

– Developed by local groups.

– Addresses nonpoint source pollution only.

– NON-REGULATORY

– Endorsed plan creates an opportunity to receive grants.

*  A watershed action plan includes:

– An inventory of watershed resources.

– Identification and evaluation of nonpoint source pollution.

– Development of problem statements, objectives, and goals based on an EPA TMDL report. (web site for report: http://www.epa.ohio.gov/dsw/tmdl/BlanchardRiverTMDL.aspx)

– Identification of Best Management Practices (BMPs) that will help restore and protect the watershed.

How much water is there when it rains?

According to an EPA report, three acre-feet of water is equal to one million gallons. An acre-foot is one acre of land covered by one foot deep in water. Three acre-feet describes the same area of land covered by three feet of water.

Acres of land in each sub-watershed:watershed-flow

Headwaters (010): 90,095 acres*
Lye Creek/The Outlet (020): 85,361 acres*
Eagle Creek (030): 73,601 acres*
Ottawa Creek (040): 95,286 acres
Riley Creek (050): 54,814 acres
Cranberry Creek (060): 94,258 acres
Total Acres: 493,415 acres
*The water from these three sub-watersheds flows through Findlay

 Amount of water in a 4″,6″ or 8″ rain:

Four inches is 1/9th of three feet. If there are 1,000,000 gallons in 3 feet, then 1/9th of one million would mean there are 111,111 gallons of water. So, if there are 249,057 acres in the 3 sub watersheds that flow into Findlay, a four inch rain would result in approximately 27.67 billion gallons of water (assuming the ground is saturated).

Six inches is 1/6th of three feet. If there are 1,000,000 gallons in 3 feet, then 1/6th of one million would mean there are 167,000 gallons of water. So, if there are 249,057 acres in the 3 sub watersheds that flow into Findlay, a six inch rain would result in approximately 41.5 billion gallons of water (assuming the ground is saturated).

Eight inches is 2/9th of three feet. If there are 1,000,000 gallons in 3 feet, then 1/9th of one million would mean there are 222,222 gallons of water. So, if there are 249,057 acres in the 3 sub watersheds that flow into Findlay, an eight inch rain would result in approximately 55.34 billion gallons of water (assuming the ground is saturated).

The Blanchard River Watershed has two unique geological features:
  1. It is very flat over all.
  2. About 90% of the water flows north to the river before flowing west to the Auglaize River. This results in a greater amount of water needing to be carried by the river which leads to a wider area prone to flooding.

In addition, there is a 100 foot fall from the southern Hancock County line to Findlay. That is roughly 8 feet per mile which cause the flow out water from the south to be very fast. From Findlay west to the county line with Putnam County, the fall is only 10 feet or about 9 inches per mile. This results in the water piling up at Findlay and spreading out as it flows west.