Oct 23, 2020

Gone is one word to describe the Lowellville dam. If you were not from this area and didn’t know the Mahoning River’s history, you wouldn’t know there was a dam upstream of the Washington Street bridge.  Gone is the Lowellville dam that for decades held this river section back from reaching its’ warm water habitat (WWH) aquatic life use attainment designation, from flowing free, and from promoting more fish diversity and community improvements. What use to look like a manmade waterfall, is now a quiet riffle that flows into the run many paddlers will enjoy for years to come. 

A majority of the contaminated sediment is gone too.  Prior to dam deconstruction, sediment “hot spots” (areas where contamination was more concentrated) were dredged and dewatered. The dewatered sediment was sampled to determine how they would be classified (hazardous vs. nonhazardous). The result of the tests rendered the sediment nonhazardous and the Lowellville reach’s historical sediment’s legacy now rests in the Carbon Limestone Landfill as daily landcover.  This cradle to grave movement was brought to us through a wonderful partnership between the village and the landfill.  Although some legacy sediment remains in the river, it was the more concentrated areas or “hot spots” that were removed and dewatered. It is now the job of the river to naturally transport and disperse any sediment as it would have pre-dam era.