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The Sycamore Creek joins the river near the village of Mexico with 68 square miles of drainage area, that should have some small reservoirs for regulation of a retarded flowage with conservation pools for local low-water benefits.
Downstream near the corporation line of Tiffin could be located a dam in the Sandusky River that would set the water back upstream to upper Sandusky and also up Honey Creek for retardation above Tiffin. Then in the flood storage backwaters of Honey Creek is a good location for another retarding basin with an excellent opportunity for a conservation pool that would be very convenient as a feeder to an augmented water supply in the Tiffin Reservoir and an excellent recreation lake for that community.
All of these conservation pools could be feeding an augmented low-water flowage down through Tiffin and Fremont for industrial water supply and pollution dilution so that better industrial development for these communities can be anticipated.
The foregoing suggestions are made to the conservancy district with the suggestion that detailed engineering studies should be made by a district chief engineer to determine all the values, costs, and benefits that, according to the latest Federal flood-control law, will become a part of a resurvey of the SciotoSandusky Watershed Conservancy District report to the Flood Control Committee of Congress by the United States Army engineers. Respectfully submitted.
DAVID C. WARNER,
FEBRUARY 11, 1946. To the DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS.
1. Mr. Philip Burgess, consulting engineer, Columbus, Ohio, in a letter to Mr. Del Starkey, secretary, Columbus Chamber of Commerce, desires clarification of some of his understandings of the problems of the Summit multiple-purpose reservoir to control the headwaters of the Scioto and Sandusky Rivers for flood control and water supplies both ways on these two rivers through central Ohio.
2. The drainage area above the reservoir from both watersheds is 770 square miles from the Scioto and 350 square miles from the Sandusky. The reservoir will be located on the Sandusky side of the divide, but the Scioto floodwaters will be diverted across the summit by a channel with a bottom width of 300 feet and excavated to a depth on at least 885 feet, mean sea level, which would be 5 feet below the conservation-pool surface of 890 feet, mean sea level. The total capacity of the top 5 feet between 890- and 885-foot levels would be 105,000 acre-feet of storage with a full conservation pool at 890 feet, mean sea level, at the beginning of a supposed 8-month drought period.
3. Assuming that a drought year of only 24 inches of rainfall is precipitated on the headwaters of these two rivers of 1,120 square miles and that two-thirds of 24 inches equals 16 inches, represents the rainfall for the 8 months of drought, and that only one-eighth of 16 inches, or 2 inches, would represent the run-off into the storage reservoir, and since 30,000 acres is 47 square miles, or the area of the lake, and that the rainfall on the lake is a part of the evaporation in the full amount of the 16 inches, or 143 feet, off from a surface of 30,000 acres, it would equal 40,000 acre-feet evaporation.
4. Since the annual evaporation of this central part of Ohio is assumed to be 30 inches instead of 26 inches as is recorded by the USGS at Columbus for the an
30" nual evaporation from the surface of a lake or pond; thence pas ou
=-0.0822'' per day average, then assuming that a drought evaporation would be 0.1 inch average per day and during the 240 days, or 8 months, three would be 24 inches total from which we must subtract the 16 inches of rainfall that falls directly onto the surface of the lake, which leaves 8 inches or two-thirds of a foot from surface, or 20,000 acre-feet for evaporation out of the total storage of the top 5 feet of the reservoir, or 105,000 acre-feet of draw-down for water supply.
5. During low-water flow in these two rivers, it is desired that their flowage should have a minimum of 200 cubic feet per second down the Scioto and 50 cubic feet per second down the Sandusky, or a total of 250 cubic feet per second per day during the 240 days of drought, or 500 acre-feet per day, that would represent a demand of 500 X 240=120,000 acre-feet plus the 20,000 acre-feet of
evaporation of direct loss, or a total of 140,000 acre-feet demand from the conservation pool. But it has been calculated that the lake would receive 2 inches of run-off from the watershed outside of the reservoir surface area, which
686,720 acres x 2". would be 1,073 square miles, or
-=114,453 acre-feet of run
12 off into the reservoir that must be added to the 105,000 acre-feet, or a total of 219,000 acre-feet, from which must be subtracted the 140,000 acre-feet, leaving a surplus of 79,453 acre feet that would have to be regulated for a fair disposition down the Sandusky River, that would more than take care of any riparian rights of diversion of water from the Sandusky watershed, where the Scioto excess waters had been stored in the Summit (Sherman) Reseryoir for headwater flood control and multiple purposes.
6. But in case the flowage in the Scioto River, the Sandusky River, and the Tymochtee Creek stopped altogether, as they did in the months of January and February 1945, when Columbus had the water famine, and the Sherman Reservoir would be drawn down to 885 feet, mean sea level, so that no water could flow down the Scioto diversion channel; then at that point there would still be 40 feet of water behind the Bellepoint Dam, or about 16,000 acre-feet of storage with the O'Shaughnessy and Grigg Reservoirs full to the lip of the spillways, because they had been kept full by the draw-down of Sherman Reservoir.
7. Supposing that this happened and that Columbus had grown to that population where it was using 120 cubic feet per second, instead of 60 cubic feet per second, then Bellepoint alone to be drawn down to the bottom, could supply that amount for 66 days and still have the other two reservoirs full of water to be drawn from for another 100 days or until the rains came.
8. The Sandusky would at the same time be getting the normal supply of water from the Sherman Reservoir, because that dam would still have 65 feet of water behind it in the lake, not calculating any influent from the surrounding water table.
9. The seepage into the water table here on the summit of the State is one of the benefits that heretofore has not been evaluated in the ratio of benefits against costs per annum and as yet without any ground-water survey data from this part of the State, there are no criteria for accurate calculation of annual seepage or infiltration to the water table. It is a known fact that a flood will thoroughly saturate its flood plain and cause a considerable rise in the surrounding water table. Thus as the floodwater of the Sherman Reservoir would spread out toward the 900-foot mean-sea-level contour, the shores of the conservation pool would become saturated for great distances from the lake and the surrounding water table would be replenished to an extent that can be calculated only after a survey of the existing water table, as it will be before the lake starts filling, and then by a gaging of the rise and fall of the water table after the lake has been filled and flood and drought periods come and go, to be recorded on the automatic gages that are now being installed by the Ohio Water Resources Board.
10. There will be a temporary loss of water from the reservoir by seepage or percolation into the summit water table while the lake is filling with floodwater, but when that water table or saturated zone rises to or above the level of the permanent conservation pool throughout the surrounding country, then whenever the lake starts to recede and drop below the surrounding shore-line water table, there will be a seepage or refiltration back into the lake in springs to replenish the surface drop or loss from either evaporation or withdrawal. This amount of refiltration is an unknown quantity from the 200 miles of shore line and is very hard to calculate without any exact data, just like the ground-water infiltration would be in the first place, when the water table was filled and would be kept full during floodtime saturation. Therefore, it would be wise to ignore both the losses and gains from infiltration and refiltration, from and to the reservoir. The one will about equal the other, though, over a long period of time, the restored ground-water reservoir will yield the greater values as an economic assets and the benefits of a rejuvenated water table to the surrounding country below the level of Sherman Lake on the summit of the State, will be beyond calculation.
11. Since Columbus uses an average of about 40 million gallons daily or 60 cubic feet per second, the city would not need to draw off the full amount of 200 cubic feet per second, but only enough to supply the water works and a limited amount, say 120 cubic feet per second to mix the surplus with the Olentangy flowage to be released from the Delaware Reservoir, so as to create a proper dilution of the pollution of the Scioto River below the city sewage-disposal plant.
12. The United States Engineers, who will have control of the draw-down or regulation of the storage waters, would be able to calculate the amount of water needed for city water supply and sanitary tlowage in these rivers at all times. They would thus be able to regulate their control gates according to the emergency and act accordingly for the community welfare and usage.
13. When these reservoirs are built, they will be operated by the United States Engineers as units in the regulation of the control of both floods and low-water flowage for navigation and other purposes on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
14. When the conservation pool is drawn down to any great extent below the normal water line, then the gradient of the water table will be increased according to the depth of draw-down and the increasing gradient toward the new water line will multiply the velocity of the influent or refiltration toward the reservoir at all points around the shore line, so that there would be an incalculable replenishment of the reservoir, that will have an unknown influence, resulting from the amount of available stored ground water in the newly rejuvenated high water table.
15. The surrounding replenished water table is an integral part of the reservoir and is always available for replenishment when needed to flow back into the reservoir during drought. This is a law of nature that maintains the normal flowage of all streams during the drought periods until the available ground water is drawn down to a point where it will no longer seep into the stream or lake by gravity. This condition prevails clear up to the headwaters of every stream that is tributary to the reservoir throughout the entire watershed that is feeding the run-off into the lake even to the underflow that is flowing under the gravels in the bed of the stream.
16. These characteristics of ground-water flowage are the compensating conditions that keep our springs and streams flowing during drought periods. This law of nature makes it imperative that improved farming practices of contour farming and farm ponds must be developed throughout the headwaters, so as to replenish the ground water and retard the run-off long enough for the rainfall to have time to penetrate into the water table. This overflow of the ground waters down grade from the hill farms is the salvation of the constant flowage from the small streams that creates the constant normal low-water flowage of the great rivers.
17. The Soil Conservation Service, in the soil-conservation districts in the Scioto-Sandusky Conservancy District, will perform a valuable part in both the flood control and water supply development, by retardation and rapid percolation, with prevention of erosion and silting of the storage reservoirs.
18. For all of these reasons, it is very important that this part of the Federal flood-control laws be recognized and that soil conservation be given its proper credit as an integral factor in flood control for an estimated retardation of flood run-off and ground-water storage in the ground-water reservoir.
19. All of the counties in the conservancy district are not yet organized, but the counties that contain hill topography are rapidly being organized into soil conservation districts and should be given credit for their proportion of estimated benefits for proposed programs in the flood-control program for the watershed.
20. This development of upstream engineering will contribute many floodcontrol benefits that up to this time have not been a part of the United States Engineers calculations of benefits against costs of flood-control projects, such as flood run-off retardation, ground water reservoir replenishment by percolation, the prevention of erosion with excessive silting resulting in the loss of storage in the reservoirs caused by the overloaded flood waters that are burdened with the erosion debris from farms that do not practice soil conservation.
21. It is very encouraging that both of these Federal agencies have been coordinated in this new science and practical practice of water and soil conservation and flood control, so that these criteria are rapidly developing whereby both agencies can show benefits and known values.
22. The development of these criteria during the last two decades for both headwater flood control by reservoirs and upstream engineering by soil conservation methods of improved farming practices, have progressed by practical experiences in intensive studies and construction, so that today these two Federal agencies that have been coordinated by authorization of Congress are able to work together on the same watershed and combine their estimates of benefits into a much more accurate calculation of direct results.
23. The progress that is being made and the knowledge of water conservation in all its phases that is being accumulated by research and experience is develop ing and evolving this new, yet old, science very rapidly in these later days, so that in the near future it will no longer be a cut and try experiment, but an exact science with tested criteria for guidance in construction with known results,
24. The close coordination of all Federal agencies, that developed out of necessity and the Federal desire to create water- and land-conservation remedies for known problems, through specializing agencies, is at this time a very healthy movement for cooperation with all State and local agencies for the use of control. led flood waters.
25. The latest flood-control law of December 22, 1944, puts the burden of responsibility of close cooperation upon the local, state, and district agencies for working together to obtain local benefits and remedies for water damages that need solution and proper engine ring construction. These conditions are closely tied in with national and State improvements, so that the United States engineers can use this pertinent information in the preparation of their reports to Congress for flood-control enactments for cooperation with local projects.
26. If the local communities do not enumerate and evaluate their damages, benefits, future demands, and desires to their districts and the State for transmission to the United States engineers, then they must not expect the engineers to include their unknown and unrevealed problems and plans in the engineering studies and reports to Congress for cooperative action.
27. It is for the purpose of compiling and analyzing all new, available, and pertinent information concerning the Scioto-Sandusky watershed, that the United States Engineers are now at work on a resurvey of this conservancy district, so as to bring everything up to date for this new report to Congress.
28. It is the desire of the Board of Directors of the Scioto-Sandusky Conservancy District and the United States engineers, that every county, township, municipality, soil conservation 'district, corporation, civic association, State agency, and individual citizen, who have information that is valuable or necessary to be known or useful pertaining to flood control and water conservation, will communicate with the secretary of the Scioto-Sandusky Conservancy District, Mr. Allen Pretzman, 50 West Broad St., Columbus, Ohio, and give him the exact and detailed information necessary.
29. This information is very important at this time so that it can count and be useful in this resurvey by the United States engineers for a favorable report on a complete flood control and other purposes project. Respectfully submitted.
David C. WARNER,
Department of Public Works.
BURGESS & NIPLE,
Columbus 15, Ohio, February 5, 1946. Mr. DEL STARKEY, Secretary, Columbus Chamber of Commerce,
Columbus, Ohio. DEAR MR. STARKEY: 1. I have been thinking over some of the matters that were discussed at the meeting of the chamber's committee on river improvements and water supply and believe that some of the matters discussed may properly be clarified, as I have attempted to do in the following letter
2. As explained to the committee, the Summit Reservoir project entails the construction of a large reservoir on the headwaters of the Sandusky and Scioto Rivers. Water, obtained principally from the Sandusky River watershed, would be impounded in the proposed reservoir, and, as required, the upper 5 feet of storage in the proposed reservoir would be available to the city of Columbus by diversion through a ditch constructed to permit the withdrawal of 5 feet of water, and no more, below spillway elevation of the reservoir.
3. Figures to show water available to the city of Columbus were submitted on the basis that the upper 5 feet of storage in the reservoir would all be available for use by the city of Columbus. During the meeting I raised a question of the accuracy of this statement for the reason that, in my opinion, when the city of Columbus would reach the ultimate capacity available in storage and would require this water, it would not be available due to losses of water in the reservoir through evaporation and other causes as well as withdrawals for other uses.
4. This is undoubtedly true, and the possibility of the city of Columbus obtaining this quantity of water, as represented by storage in the upper 5 feet of depth of the reservoir, could be assured only by the installation and operation of adequate pumping equipment. The cost of installation and operation of such pumping equipment should be included in the cost of water delivered from the project for use by the city of Columbus.
5. It should be understood, further, that the use of water by diversion to the city of Columbus entails a legal question which might be of some importance. Water flowing to Columbus would in part be obtained from the Sandusky watershed, and diverted to the Scioto River watershed. Within the past 3 years the writer has been retained as consulting engineer for the Ohio Water Service Co. in connection with some of its reservoir problems. This company is delivering daily some 20,000,000 gallons of water to the industries in the Youngstown district, and all of its water is obtained from impounding reservoirs.
6. During conferences with the management and legal counsel of this company the question of rights of diversion were discussed. In general, it is recognized that the lower riparian owner has the right, as against the upper riparian, to have the natural flow of this stream in its channel unobstructed by the latter. What is meant by the phrase "natural flow” is, however, exceedingly difficult to define. Perhaps it might be said to be that amount of water which normally would flow through that channel from day to day through the varying seasons of the year, undiminished by artificial interference on the one hand and without the surplus water resulting from storms or floods on the other.
7. The right of riparian owners would seem to be particularly important in the event that the diversion is from one watershed to another. It is very clear, however, that, under the Ohio law, perhaps considerable quantities of water could properly be demanded by riparian owners on the Sandusky River watershed ahead of any rights of the city of Columbus situated on the Scioto River watershed.
8. The writer does not pretend to be an attorney but believes that this question is of major importance in determining the ultimate benefits that may accrue to the city of Columbus through joint ownership in such a project as the Summit Reservoir.
9. In any event, it would seem to be very necessary that, before the city of Columbus becomes committed to the proposed project and be required to contribute substantial sums of money, an agreement or contract be entered into, by all parties interested, whereby the city of Columbus could attempt to secure and protect its right to any part of this impounded water, particularly during extreme dry conditions when such water supply becomes very necessary and valuable.
10. There is another feature which I believe should be considered as entering into the benefits which the city of Columbus might derive from the Summit Reservoir project. It is a matter of record that the maximum flood at Columbus to date has been variously estimated at from 140,000 to 150,000 second-feet, as occurred in 1913. The present river channel at Columbus is estimated to have a capacity during floods equal to 100,000 second-feet. The surplus would have to be cared for in some other way.
11. The flood at Columbus in 1913 was made up in part of a flow of approximately 45,000 to 50,000 second-feet from the Olentangy River and the floodprotection project now under consideration and about to be constructed by the Federal Government on the Olentangy River above Delaware will reduce this flood 30,000 to 35,000 second-feet. This, of course, must be credited against the 50 000 second feet surplus which the river channel at Columbus will not now take, leaving a balance of 15,000 second-feet to be cared for.
12. Since the 1913 flood, the O'Shaughnessy Reservoir has been constructed on the Scioto River above Columbus and, while this has been provided principally to store water for domestic and commercial uses, actually it has considerable value for flood-protection purposes because the reservoir will retard a considerable quantity of floodwater. The O'Shaughnessy Reservoir probably would take care of the balance of the surplus floodwater amounting to 15,000 secondfeet, as above discussed. The Summit Reservoir project would, therefore, have value to the city of Columbus for protection purposes only during floods exceeding 150,000 second-feet. The ocurrence of such a flood is a very remote possibility.
13. From the above discussion, it is apparent that the Summit Reservoir project would contribute very little to flood protection at Columbus and little benefit on this account can be assessed against the city of Columbus in the event that the Summit Reservoir project is constructed.