Explore the Demonstration Watershed: The Demonstration Watershed located about 9-miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio and contains sections of Sycamore Twp., and the Cities of Blue Ash and Deer Park. After a flow path of about 4.25-miles from the top of the Demonstration Watershed, Cooper Creek flows into Mill Creek, which flows south through Cincinnati and into the Ohio River.
With the Google Map below, you can explore the Demonstration Watershed and the flow path of Cooper Creek.
Keep scrolling down for a drove flight video tour of the creek.
The red polygon is the Demonstration Watershed Boundary (~1-square mile). The orange "cross-hairs" are mapped sanitary sewer overflow locations.
Key Characteristics of the Watershed:
Highly urbanized with nearly 50% of the land covered by impervious surfaces such as roads, buildings, and parking lots.
About 15% of the watershed, in the northeast corner, consists of commercial/industrial land use with very high impervious surface coverage. The remainder of the watershed is dominated by single family residential land use, speckled with a few smaller commercial areas and a few larger turf grass areas associated with parks and schools. The forested buffer around the creek is discussed in detail below.
There are two mapped sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) locations marked by orange “cross-hairs” – one just east of Bechtold Park on Tudor Road and the other adjacent to the Creek just downstream of Plainfield Road. Collaborative members have discovered an additional SSO (not currently mapped) adjacent to the creek in Bechtold Park, and the existence of others unmapped locations is possible.
Virtual Tour of the Creek – Use the Google Map to follow along with the descriptions:
Cooper Creek first emerges as a surface water stream where a large (6-foot diameter) storm sewer outfall that discharges in Bechtold Park. Shortly after discharging into the park, the creek flows through a forested section of the park characterized be a relatively “unconfined” valley providing the creek access to its historic floodplain, though due to years of channel enlargement (from flashy urban flows), it is very rare that the creek flows out of its banks in this location. In this upper-most reach, the creek generally flows year-round due to groundwater inputs that support sustained populations of a few species of fish. However, there are a couple sections of this reach that go completely dry in between rain events. The collaborative is exploring cause and potential options for mitigating this.
Further downstream, after the creek passes under Plainfield Road, it enters a much more “confined” valley in which a steep ravine separates the creek from surrounding development. A positive effect of this is that the Creek has a healthy riparian buffer over much of its flow path.
Within this confined valley, the “baseflow” impacts of hydrologic alterations become much more pronounced with much of the Creek drying out between rain events. When this happens, the only significant refuge for fish are large scour pools at the downstream end of culverted road crossings.
These culverts also pose an obstacle to upstream migrations for these fish as they are typically dry between rain events but pass very fast and flashy flows during rain events. These road crossings within the Demonstration Watershed include (from top to bottom): Plainfield Road, Mantell Avenue, and Wicklow Avenue.
The Creek remains predominantly dry until it passes through the next road crossing, Ronald Regan Cross County Highway. Below this culvert the creek seems to cut down to an elevation where it receives a stead groundwater supply for the rest of its flow path to the Mill Creek. Surface water input from a relatively large tributary (predominantly draining the northeast corner of Amberley Village) may also play a roll. This stable hydrology of this locations, just below Cross County Hwy., serves as a reference for the hydrologic conditions that we hope to achieve further upstream through sustain hydrologic mitigation efforts.
Cooper Creek Drone Flyover Above Plainfield Rd.
Read Description 1 of the Virtual Tour above before watching the video.
*The Center for Environmental Solutions & Emergency Response of the United State Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Homeland Security & Materials Management Division is participating in a collaborative effort to integrate and retrofit urban stormwater infrastructure networks with technology to improve water quality and moderate flows.