Bill Moose Run
Bill Moose Run flows from the commercial area near Sinclair Road and I-71, through the State Schools for the Deaf and Blind, Wesley Glen and Graceland Shopping Center and into Kenny Park where it meets with the Olentangy River at RM 7.82. Several small tributaries enter the stream near I-71 (flowing from area just west of Karl Road that includes the Woodward Park Nature Preserve) and near Rush Avenue. Until a portion of its upstream channel was realigned for construction at I-71 near Sinclair, it maintained a basically natural flow.
Bill Moose Run has remained a natural stream for part of its course, meandering through alternating cobbles, shale, concretions, and sandy islands on the Deaf and Blind Schools' properties between Indianola and the Worthington Gardens Apartments. During spring, the area is carpeted with trillium, Virginia Bluebells, Mayapple, and Trout Lilies. On a warm spring evening the steep banks welcome nesting kingfishers and echo the songs of wood thrush and white-throated sparrows. A mature beech-maple forest towers overhead. Deer, groundhog, and raccoon share the wealth. Another important attribute of this stream is that it maintains flow all year (perennial flow). In 1996, the Sharon Heights Community Association formed a Ravine Committee (now the Environment Committee) in response to a number of concerns about this ravine. The committee has made a number of significant strides in protecting and improving their stream. The first was to develop a name for this unique resource. The committee believed that a name could be a powerful means of developing a sense of identity, pride, and heightened personal and community responsibility. Proposed names were solicited from residents, the business community and local schools. Several schools agreed to conduct class projects through which the children would learn about the process and the resource. Six names were submitted. The Environment Committee selected the name Bill Moose Run to honor the man called the "Last of the Wyandots." Bill Moose is known to have been the last of the Wyandot Indians who dwelt in Central Ohio. He was born in 1837 in northwest Ohio and moved to the Columbus area with his family when most of his tribe was displaced to Kansas and later to Oklahoma. He was known to have wandered this area around the Olentangy and Scioto rivers, living off the land. He later lived in a small shack at the corner of Indianola and Morse Roads. Bill Moose is still remembered fondly today by some Clintonville residents, who, as young children, listened to his stories. He died the age 100 in 1937, and attributed his long life to his practice of living close to nature.
EPA water quality assessments are based on the Chemical, Physical, and Biological Integrity of the river. In 1999, Bill Moose Creek was found to be non-attaining as a Warm Water Habitat. While this tributary had a fair macro-invertebrate count, but it also showed high bacteria levels. The Bill Moose Creek watershed is in a highly urbanized area, and it receives flow from a sanitary sewer overflow in Sharon Township. High bacteria counts could also be attributed to some of the 369 dwellings that are not hooked into the City’s sewer system in Sharon Township. Areas still relying on septic systems include parts of Rosslyn Avenue, Kanawha Avenue, West Islandview Avenue, Westview Avenue, Riverside Drive, Milton Avenue, Emerson Avenue, and Olentangy Boulevard. Educational materials about septic system care could be deployed in these areas to reduce non-point source pollution from these aging septic systems. Additionally, FLOW would recommend improvements to the sewer system in the area to reduce bacteria from SSOs, as well as the installation of rain gardens to slow the flow of stormwater to Bill Moose Creek.
There have been 25 sewage related investigations in this neighborhood over the last 5 years (Franklin County Health Department). Sediments in Bill Moose Run were the least contaminated by metals of all the tributaries sampled. However, organic sediment contamination was noticeable. PCB-1254 was found (only in this tributary was it found) at 131 mg/kg (above the lowest effect level) and chlordane and PAHs were also found, but at low levels. The habitat Bill Moose Run provides ranked good (57.0 QHEI). This is due to minimal hydromodification of the channel, moderate to high sinuosity and low embeddedness of the substrates. The macroinvertebrates and fish scored low, giving Bill Moose Run a rating of Fair. Though
Bill Moose Run is the least impacted by runoff or CSO/SSO discharges of all the tributaries sampled throughout Franklin County, the low diversity of species found indicates the impact of an altered flow regime caused by increase of impervious surfaces.
Data sampled more recently (July 21st and 22nd 2001) by FLOW Hellgrammite monitors, Ellie Nowels and Kathy Reuter using the Leaf Pack experiment kit by LaMotte show the same FAIR rating.
FLOW Water Stewards are monitoring Bill Moose Run three times a year (spring, summer and fall) at two locations. Based on our monitoring, the overall water quality is fair, with average total dissolved solids 558 mg/l (just above the desired <500 for healthy streams), conductivity 888 uS, salinity levels of 440 ppm, total hardness 328 ppm and total alkalinity 210 ppm. The nitrates and phosphates are in average around 10 and 8 ppm , respectively, which indicates nutrient enrichment. FLOW water stewards also monitor macroinvertebrate diversity in water and though their results indicate fair water quality (SQM index average of 11), volunteers saw mayfly and stonefly nymphs, caddisfly larvae, and riffle beetles (indicators of good water quality), in addition to blackfly larvae, worms and other organisms. Our water stewards' data can be found below in excel spreadsheet named Bill Moose Run monitoring data.