dams

The dam in Leavittsburg, Ohio, is one of nine in a regional plan to be removed along the Mahoning River, once heavily polluted from steel mills and other industries.
Julie Grant / The Allegheny Front

The Ohio River watershed is dotted with thousands of small dams. Many are remnants of bygone days of grain mills and the steel industry, which used dams to pool water needed during production.

Just over a year ago, the $100 million project to repair the crumbling earthen dam at Buckeye Lake was finished two years early.  But the state is looking at dozens of the 1420 dams in Ohio that could be failing.

Dave Reutter and Kyle Wilson stand along a stream in Willow Brook.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Rows of nearly identical houses run along gently meandering roads in Jefferson Township’s Willow Brook subdivision. It’s suburban, but tucked in here is a pretty innovative environmental project.

This Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, photo, shows the principal spillway inlet under a gazebo, that redirects excess water out of the Muskingum University's lake in New Concord, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Picturesque, and at times, worrisome.

The Muskingum University dam holds back what locals call "College Lake" on the campus of the private liberal arts college. Perched directly over the inlet to the lake's spillway is a wooden gazebo — a locally legendary fixture where many young couples have had their first date or kiss.