Improving Muskingum River

by Emily Baird on May 17, 2010 at 6:10 am

One local water source is seeing some improvements.

The Muskingum River’s quality of water has dramatically improved, thanks to testing by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency. More fish are also returning to live in the river. That’s why Muskingum River Advisory Council President, Joy Padgett, says it’s an unrecognized resource in the area.

"So many people are used to it flowing through the four counties that it’s in. They don’t look at it from an asset base, " says Padgett.

The council met this afternoon to discuss how to maintain and improve this resource.

"What we do is try to plan for the future. Our primary goal is to make sure that we keep the lock and the dam system preserved and operating, " says Padgett.

The lock and dam system is very unique. It was initially constructed in the 1840’s, and is the only hand operated system in the northern hemisphere.

Nine of the 10 locks are open. The one located in Philo remains closed after a section of the retaining wall fell into the channel. ODNR was notified of the problem back in February and has surveyed the site to see how to fix the problem. It started collecting bids on April 15th and chose Zemba Brothers out of Zanesville with a bid of 72, 500 dollars.