Seven neon-toned signs that suddenly went up along the Olentangy River bank in Worthington a week ago were torn down just as quickly on Tuesday morning.

Seven neon-toned signs that suddenly went up along the Olentangy River bank in Worthington a week ago were torn down just as quickly on Tuesday morning.

Crews from the city of Columbus public utilities department removed the signs at the request of the city of Worthington.

The signs, warning of the hazards of low-head dams, were erected on Sept. 22. At least some of them were on Worthington property, and the city had not been contacted about the project.

"Columbus thought it was all state property," said Worthington service director Dave Groth. "I hope it was an innocent mistake on Columbus' part."

When residents who live along the river contacted Worthington city manager Matt Greeson last Friday, he contacted Groth, who made some calls to Columbus.

"We requested they be removed and we will work through a process as we do anytime we impact a neighborhood," Greeson said.

He called erection of the signs "good intent, maybe not so good execution."

Fox Lane residents John and Steffanie Haueisen and Joe and Mary Ann Ward were the first to see the signs going up.

Both couples enjoy the serene, tranquil beauty of the river on the edge of their backyards, with the wooded bank of Antrim Park as a backdrop.

It came as quite a jolt when the city of Columbus workers showed up on Sept. 22 and erected four bright signs, three of them facing their homes.

The largest was a 4 by 5 feet, bright green, glow-in-the-dark sign directed at the Ward home.

It read "Danger Dam 150 feet ahead" and "drowning hazard" and "no boats."

"This was their dream home, but they awoke that morning to see a hideous chartreuse sign aimed at their windows," John Haueisen said of his neighbors, the Wards.

Besides being ugly, the sign was useless. It was posted 150 feet below the dam. John Haueisen has lived in the neighborhood most of his life, and has never seen a boat travel upstream.

Two red glow-in-the-dark signs were directed at the Haueisen house, also downstream, and one was placed on the dam, which would be seen only as boaters were about to go over it.

Three other signs were posted farther upstream.

Approximately three or four canoes or kayaks go over the dam each day during the summer, usually without mishap.

Mary Ann Ward said she has no problem with signs being posted upstream to warn boaters of the upcoming drop-off.

"If it would save one kid's life, I would be in favor of it," she said.

Low-head dams around central Ohio have caused many deaths over the years.

The Worthington site is not technically a low-head dam, but is a sewer line connecting Worthington to Columbus. Still, it creates a drop-off that can be hazardous.

The last death there was in March 1968, when 14-year-old Patrick Pruden drowned after going over the sewer in a boat in icy water by himself.

The scope of the project was area-wide and focused on educating the public about the danger of the drop-offs, dams and other hazards, including sites in the Scioto, Griggs Dam, Hoover Reservoir, and other waterways besides the Olentangy, said Laura Young Mohr, spokesperson for the Columbus Department of Public Utilities.

Columbus City Council approved $124,000 to post the hazardous areas with warning signs in response to public outcry.

Each time someone drowns at a low-head dam, people request the dams be clearly marked, she said. It always came down to when and how, she added.

Now it will be up to Worthington to warn of the hazards in the Olentangy within the city, she said.

The city will evaluate the situation, talk to neighbors, and decide what needs to be done, Groth said.