The city of Worthington is entertaining several options to help mitigate erosion along Rush Run, which empties into the Olentangy River.
Worthington City Council heard a presentation April 13 about a Rush Run stream study, which makes several recommendations on erosion control along the stream.
Because it met as a committee of the whole and not in a regular meeting, council took no action.
Robert Hawley of Safe Streams and Chris Rust of Strand Associates Inc., both of whom had worked on the stream study in 2019, suggested refitting the Huntley Bowl Park basin, which consistently adds water to the stream.
Rust suggested a few measures, such as adding a new outlet-control structure to better manage water flow and excavating and restoring the basin so it could hold more water during significant rain events. The cost of the fixes is estimated at $378,000, although it is unclear when work would start, officials said.
City engineer Dan Whited said he supported improving the basin.
"I think that will go a long way to mitigating some of the problems in the stream," Whited said. "And, as Dr. Hawley said, it's a pretty rare opportunity to have such a significant opportunity to make an improvement to the stream."
The discussion came a week after City Council paid Dustin and Susan Mondrach $50,000 for erosion damage to the couple's property at 290 E. South St.
The consultants recommended other options for in-stream stabilization, such as placing boulders in the stream near McCoy Road and East South Street to help protect the bottom of the streambed and create a habitat for aquatic life.
That would require approval from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which could take up to two years or more to obtain, Whited said.
Hawley said the reason that specific section of the stream experiences so much erosion is that streams in the suburban watershed are adjusting to more runoff.
Rain spatters on leaves and soaks into the topsoil to help keep some water from rushing into the stream. But sealed surfaces – houses, roads and parking lots – deflect water, which trickles directly into the stream, Hawley said.
"Just like if you put more calories in your body than it's used to, than it can use, you know, your system changes, your body gets a little bit heavier," Hawley said. "When we put more water into the streams, the streams adjust to that addition and they do that by getting larger."