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The Advertiser-Tribune Presents

Our Town 2013

Life on the Sandusky W W W . A D V E R T I S E R -T R I B U N E . C O M


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Water, water

Our Town 2013

everywhere ...

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Creative Services: Jessica A. Everhart, Fay Corfman and Connie G. Traxler Editorial: Robert T. Weaver, MJ McVay, Dennis Hoerig, Nick Dutro, Zach Baker, Pat Gaietto, Jill Gosche, Marcy Bishop, Brittany Cook, Bonnie Daniel, Beverly A. Gabel, Vicki Johnson, John Kauffman, Karen Kin, MaryAnn Kromer, Aaron Korte, Nikki Luman, Brittany McConaha, Tony Maluso, Mike Masella, Dan McElhatten, John P. Montgomery, Erika PlattHandru, Alicia Prenzlin, Cory Sager, Alex Schafer, Al Stephenson, Lydia Stuckey, Jane Tomaszewski and Nicole Walby

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Our Town is a special edition published annually by The Advertiser-Tribune. Receive subscription, editorial or advertising information at (419) 448-3200 or P.O. Box 778, Tiffin, OH 44883. Additional copies of Our Town—Life on the Sandusky are available from The Advertiser-Tribune and will be mailed anywhere in the United States for $3.50.

Washington Street looking north from the Shawhan Hotel after the flood in 1913.

Page 1

The central topic for this year’s Our Town edition was an obvious choice that became apparent while working on stories related to the centennial of the Flood of 1913. Honestly, members of the news staff developed a list of potential stories in late winter and early spring. The exceedingly wet weather pattern that persists to the time of this writing in early August was coincidental, of not ironic. Yet the recently hyperactive hydrological cycle also is instructive. Water — in its purest form, an odorless, colorless, tasteless compound — is easy to overlook yet essential to our existence. That helps explain the focus for the 2013 edition. We used a few different working titles for this year’s issue while it was in the planning stages: water, water everywhere; a river runs through it. All were clichés. Eventually, the story list highlighted the reality that this remarkable fluid courses through our lives in myriad ways, much like the scenic river winding its way through northwestern Ohio. So, welcome to Life Along the Sandusky. Enjoy your stay. — Rob Weaver

A note from the editor

The past and present

Our cover photo illustration and the pictures on the page numbers use Advertiser-Tribune file photos provided by local historian Mark Steinmetz. The cover photo combines one of those pictures, taken of the railroad bridge on Sandusky River from Liberty Street near Rock Creek in 1913, with a picture of the same location in July 2013.


About the cover

Page 2

Life on the Sandusky

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Owner continues traditions at Walnut Grove

Pages 4-6

One family has made Walnut Grove a destination for 21 years A walk through the history of the Great Black Swamp

Pages 6-8

Pages 9-11

Seneca County General Health District can help with septic, wells

Pages 12-14

Project Underground takes educators, students to the caves

Pages 16-19

Heidelberg University’s water quality lab investigates the wet stuff Sisters of St. Francis save water from the clouds Area officials prepare for when flooding strikes Water rescue team is ready to help Fostoria resident knows how to conserve water

Pages 20-23

Pages 24-27

Pages 28-31

Pages 32-34

Many ways to check out the scenic Sandusky River

Page 35

Pages 36-38

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune

There are many places to take a dip in the area

Page 3

Page 39

Firefighters know the importance of water for their jobs

Pages 40-42

Sewer separation is an ongoing project for the city of Tiffin

Pages 44

Sentinel students show how water is essential in the workplace

Pages 46-47

Hempy Water owner explains the complexities of H2O

Pages 50-53

Culligan of Tiffin helps make water taste a little better Big business in little bottles

Pages 54-58

Green Springs’ history, tradition tied to water

Page 59

Pages 60-63

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Making camp on the river Page 4

Life on the Sandusky

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Staff Writer

Walnut Grove owner keeps tradition alive

The Advertiser-Tribune

Since 2003, Chris Rubeck has been the owner of Walnut Grove Campground, south of Tiffin. Originally from Mount Vernon, Rubeck is a nurse who lived in Columbus before moving to Walnut Grove. She still works two days a week in Columbus.

“I live in the middle of the campground. On the back deck, I can hear everything going on ‘down below.’ In the front yard, I can see and hear what’s happening on the upper camp,” Rubeck said.

She purchased the property from Steve Guilke. She believes it has been a campground for more than 50 years. There are 230 camping sites with water and electric. Sewer service also is available on 140 sites for an additional rate.

“We have five ponds with plenty of frogs and turtles,” Rubeck said, “and we’re just downriver from an eagles nest.”

Our Town 2013

Page 5


A stairway leads down to the river’s edge at Walnut Grove Campground. In early July, the railing in the photo was under water. On the previous page, wildlife, such as this great blue heron, is abundant along the Sandusky River.

Page 6

Rubeck said she does have an alcohol license, but she tries to make the camp family-friendly with basketball courts, an Olympic-size pool, playground equipment, dances for all ages, euchre tournaments and other special events. She said the park rules are based on “common sense.” The speed limit for vehicles on the gravel driveways is 5 mph. Dogs must be on leashes, and visitors must have a pass. Any camping vehicle more than 20 years old needs to be certified for safety and aesthetic reasons. Quiet hours are 11 p.m.-7 a.m. “I walk the grounds at night,” Rubeck said. “I usually have a good rapport with teenagers.” Teens who may want to push the envelope are invited for a golf cart ride with Rubeck for a private conversation about their behavior. In general, all the campers pay more attention to their actions when they see her making the rounds. She may not have to say a word. Rubeck wants to keep her customers coming back. She said some families have spent summers there for three generations. Sharon Hartman has been a regular for 24 summers, and Ken Davis has been camping at Walnut Grove for 27 years. The mosquitoes, horseflies and snakes are not enough to keep them away. Both have seen a number of changes over the years, and both are wary of the changing river conditions. The normally pleasant site can become dangerous when the river overflows. Davis said the Wyandot County sheriff monitors the water level and calls Walnut Grove when conditions become treacherous.

Life on the Sandusky

I remember when I was a kid out here. Then I was a Girl Scout leader, so that’s how I got interested in building fires, crafts and learning about nature.” Chris Rubeck, owner of Walnut Grove Campground since 2003 “One year, we had a flood, I think in 2007, and we took canoes down to get campers out,” he said. “When we see it’s coming up, we put out the word, ‘Get the trailers,’” Hartman said. Rubeck’s family also camped there while she was growing up. “I remember when I was a kid out here. Then I was a Girl Scout leader, so that’s how I got interested in building fires, crafts and learning about nature,” Rubeck said. She gives discounts to the Scouts and other groups who want to come and camp. Cross country teams come to Walnut Grove for practice sessions on the hilly terrain, and the park hosts family reunions and a picnic for a farmers’ group. A family gate pass for the season is $110, which admits people to the park to use the pool and to attend special events. They are not required to camp. “We get a lot of calls when there are algae blooms in the lakes. I tell them, ‘Yes, we have a pool,’” Rubeck said.

The campground’s most elaborate event is the annual children’s benefit that takes place around the July 4 holiday. Hartman and Davis served on this year’s benefit committee. Rubeck said she spent some time on the dunk tank platform to raise money for a needy child. The benefit was celebrating its 10th year. Rubeck said the campers are good about pitching in to help others. One woman recently became disabled, so her neighbors check on her every day. When the river starts rising, everyone spreads the word and goes down to evacuate campsites on the lower level. “The reason I am still here are the people,” Rubeck said. Walnut Grove Campground is located at 7325 S. TR 131, Tiffin. For more information, visit www.walnutgrovecamp, email or call (419) 448-0914.

Campers learn to live with the river’s moods

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Staff Writer

People who love camping, fishing, canoeing, boating, bird watching and just the soothing sights and sounds of flowing water spend the warmer months of the year at Walnut Grove Campground. Located along the Sandusky River in a quiet rural area south of Tiffin, the camp provides a summer get-away close to home. Campers can choose from 230 campsites that dot the hilly terrain. Electrical, water and sewer hook-ups are available on most of the sites, and the campground has a swimming pool and a fishing pond for members’ use. Bob and Shelly Smith of Tiffin have been camping at Walnut Grove for 21 years. Shelly’s mother grew up in Tiffin and often brought her daughter out to the park to camp. When Shelly started working, she bought camping equipment, only to have it stolen from its storage place. “I was whining at work and a young guy came up to me and said ‘I’ve got a camper I’ll sell you,’” Shelly recalled. “We pulled it out here ... and we’ve been out here ever since. To have the opportunity to come back out here as a grown up is kind of neat. I love this place.” From that first tiny camper, the Smiths have graduated to a mini-cabin on a lot with water, electric and sewer. The site has a clear view of the pool and the surrounding farm fields. Shelly said she did not want to camp down near the river because she feared one of their six daughters would slip into the water. “You can see how steep (the bank) is,” Shelly said. “Our girls were little, so we camped ... right in between two bathrooms.” Each girl had her own tent to set up and pull down, and Bob said the girls taught plenty of boys how to do it. The youngest daughter is 22 and about to be married. Shelly said they all still like “the camping thing.” Walnut Grove is open May through October to provide a fun and inexpensive form of recreation for families. “What we spend for six months of a vacation we could spend in a weekend at Myrtle Beach or Disney World,” Bob said.

■ continued on page 7

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune

“You just have to get used to living in the country,” Shelly added. “You have to watch for deer. That’s the biggest thing, worrying about the animals. You never know what’s going to jump out.” A large raccoon wanted to hang out at the Smiths’ site until Bob drove him away with a shovel. What looked like a hose sticking out from under their shed one day turned out to be a large black snake that made its way through the campground. Some of the campers caught the reptile and took it down near the river for release. Bob said snakes help to keep the rodent and insect populations down. Another time, a possum got into the Smiths’ shed and later turned up in one of the girls’ backpacks. When Bob went to extract it, the girls insisted he let it go instead of killing it. Shelly said sometimes they would find baby animals and nurse them with eyedroppers before releasing them. “We’ve done a lot of catch and release with fish. They all fish. I had them fish the ponds. I didn’t send them down to the river ... they weren’t used to it,” Bob said.

He and the girls would catch blue gill, sunfish, large and smallmouth bass, carp and catfish. The campground has added fishing ponds to compensate for the lower fish populations in the river after demolition of St. John’s Dam 10 years ago. Bob said he would like to see the Ballville Dam near Fremont removed. If it were gone, the walleye could run all the way into Seneca County. The fish in Walnut Grove’s lower pond are so used to being fed, they flock to the shore whenever they hear a vehicle or even footsteps along the bank. Shelly enjoys sighting birds, such as cranes, herons, eagles and hawks. One time an owl swooped past their golf cart. The couple said it was bigger than the daughter who was riding with them. “You could feel the wind — whoosh, whoosh. He was huge,” Shelly said. “That’s the benefit from being down below. You can see a lot more of that.” “It’s great along the river because it gives you a lot of different options. The kids loved to go canoeing. It’s just beautiful down there,” Bob said. He often comes out during the winter to check on their site. Often the


ground shifts during the colder months and leaves campers leaning precariously. Those shifts also have affected the pool and a pond. Bob remembered 2005 when there was an ice storm in the winter and flooding in the spring, so he likes to keep tabs on conditions while the park is closed. “I will go up and down all the rows. If I see an issue at somebody’s camper, I’ll try to contact

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Campers must constantly be vigilant about flooding at Walnut Grove. The floodwater line can be seen on this shed at a lower-level campsite.

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Page 8

Life on the Sandusky

them or I’ll call Chris (the owner) to get a hold of them,” Bob said. “The storms you have to deal with whether you’re out in the country or in town.” Walnut Grove does not have a storm shelter per se, but campers can take cover in the main hall near the camp office. The structure is only a pole building, but it is safer than being in a camping trailer. When tornado warnings are issued, the Smiths get into their car and drive to the lowest level of the campground. Their next choice is the low-lying playground area in the center of the park. One strip of campsites runs along the bank of the river. The hardy folk who park “below” call themselves “River Rats.” They are willing to tolerate the mosquitoes and mud to be close to the water. A River Rats sign marks the spot where parties often take place. “They love it down there,” Bob said. “It’s a crew. They have a lot of fun. The kids all enjoy it.” The River Rats also know how to load up their campsites and equipment on a moment’s notice and move to higher ground. July’s heavy rains and storms drove the normally scenic Sandusky over its banks and into the River Rats’ territory. “I was here when the truck came down and got all the port-a-pots.” Bob said. The Smiths said most people who camp near the river monitor the weather forecasts. In addition to warnings from law enforcement, most of the campers have connections with friends and relatives who alert them when the water is coming up. Steve Guilke, the owner of Island View Campground outside of McCutchenville, often sends notice about changing river levels. The former owner of Walnut Grove, he knows quick action is needed. “It rises fast ... it’ll come over the bank down there on the far end by the Coonhunters’ Lodge. By the time it comes over that bank, you’re talking 20-30 minutes to get out. You have to know in advance how much it’s raining in the south,” Bob said. Some people removed their campers two days before the rain started. The next day, nearly everyone else pulled out and went home or parked in a row along the top of the hill overlooking the flood zone. No one was trapped in the low-lying sites, but two camp vehicles were swamped before their owners could haul them out. “Those that didn’t get them up, by the time we had that storm on Wednesday, it was too late. It was already under water down below. You couldn’t get a truck down there to pull them out,” Bob said. One year, owner Chris Rubeck had to go down and warn an unsuspecting couple to get out because the river was rising. They were able to escape but they had to leave their belongings. “They lost everything,” Shelly said. At times, low spots in the roadway leading to the campground also are flooded. In July, the water was as high as the front entrance to Camp Glen, also located on TR 131. During the heaviest rains the week of July 8, rivers of water were tumbling down the driveways of the campground, not just next to the Sandusky. The storm also claimed a number of trees.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

“They love it down there. It’s a crew. They have a lot of fun. The kids all enjoy it.” Bob Smith of Tiffin, who has camped at Walnut Grove for more than 21 years, said of the brave people who make camp along the bank of the Sandusky River and call themselves the “River Rats.” This sign, which marks the spot where River Rats often party, is shown with muddy residue of where the height of the water the week of July 8. PHOTO BY MARYANN KROMER

A brief history of the The Advertiser-Tribune


Staff Writer

Great Black Swamp

This illustration shows where the Great Black Swamp was located.

Page 9

Editorʼs note: This history of the Great Black Swamp was taken from several online sources.

Growing crops on agricultural land in northwest Ohio could not happen without the aid of drainage tiles and ditches that provide avenues for excess water to be removed from cropland. The naturally soggy land is a remnant of the area’s history as the Great Black Swamp. When settlers began moving west to the Northwest Territory, they settled all of the area that became Ohio, except the northwest corner of the state. At the time, many American Indians such as the Miami, Ottawa, Shawnee and the Pottawattamie had been forced to move to the boggy, densely forested, mosquito-infested area settled on the fringes of the swamp. They used the area as a hunting ground, but did not live in it. By 1820, most of Ohio was settled, but it wasn’t until the 1830s, ’40s and ’50s that settlers — mainly German and Irish — took on the daunting task of draining the Great Black Swamp. They cut down trees and dug ditches for many years. “Letters and journals of settlers traveling through Ohio in the early 1800s talk about how they traveled on the fringes of the swamp, or went completely out of their way to avoid going through it,” according to a history of the Great Black Swamp on the website of


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Life on the Sandusky

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Historic Sauder Village, Archbold ( “Several journals by soldiers who fought in the War of 1812 tell of the horrors associated with the swamp, including multitudes of mosquitoes and the resulting illness they produced that was called ague, but which we know as malaria.” The first project undertaken to make the swamp accessible was building a road from Fremont to Detroit, Mich., through the heart of the Great Black Swamp. It was challenging to build a road through the swamp that wouldn’t get washed away by the natural movement of water. After trying various options, the builders ended up with a road leveled with rock underneath so it was higher than the surrounding land. They dug ditches on each side of the road and dug culverts underneath the road to channel the water and allow it to flow somewhat naturally. “They would finally get a road wide enough for maybe a wagon to go down, but if one person was coming from the north and another person was coming from the south somebody would have to get off into the swamp and let the other people pass, and they were constantly digging out horses and wagons and everything,” one website said. Today, the area the original settlers cleared is some of the most productive farmland in the nation. Leading the final phase of creating farmland from the area was the 1859 Ohio Ditch Law, which created a cooperative system for individuals to petition county government to surface drain the area. The law passed by the Ohio Legislature allowed county commissioners to construct drainage ditches if petitioned by one landowner who wanted it. It also allowed them to levy assessments on landowners to recover the costs of construction. As a result, the draining of the swamp proceeded at a rapid pace, and by 1900, there were few remaining swampy areas in northwest Ohio. At the same time, timbering the forest had become big business. Virgin timber was cut and sent to build ships for the United States and Europe. Lumber was used to build houses in emerging cities, and by coopers and woodworkers for making barrels and other items used in daily life. The leftover slab wood became firewood for heating homes, and for fueling tile mill kilns. The tile made at these kilns became the underground drainage system that made the land productive for farming. The fertility of the land was created as leaves fell from the trees and other plant material fell into the water of the swamp. They decomposed and the water turned black.

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune

“Thus, the swamp became the Great Black Swamp,” according to a history of the Great Black Swamp on the website of Historic Sauder Village, Archbold. Sauder Village suggests a visit to Goll Woods State Nature Preserve to get an idea of what the swamp looked like. A small remnant remains there. Another area where remnants of the swamp remain are at Magee Marsh near Oak Harbor. The swamp covered 1,500 miles in northwest Ohio and northeastern Indiana, stretching east to present-day Sandusky, south to Findlay and west to Fort Wayne, Ind. It formed when the Wisconsin Glacier covering the land about 20,000 years ago retreated, leaving a flattened surface covered mainly with clay. Sand ridges were left behind that provided some higher ground. From an environmental conservation standpoint, the Great Black Swamp was an ecosystem within itself. The land around it drained into the swamp, and the vast wetland served as a filter before water returned to rivers and streams and eventually to Lake Erie. The large swamp was an estimated 90 percent of Ohio’s wetlands, which now are gone, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Because very little of the wetland remains and cropland is drained far more

quickly through drainage tile and ditches, sediment laden with nutrients meant for crops and sediment that washed away during floods make their way to the lake without being filtered by the wetland. Those nutrients are causing the harmful algae blooms that take place each summer season on Lake Erie. When the algae dies and sinks to the bottom, bacteria that break down the algae use up so much oxygen that life is no longer sustainable in that area. The result is called “hypoxia.” In addition to nutrient loading in the lake, problems associated with wetland loss include flood damages, drought damages and a decline in the bird population. Reminders of the Great Black Swamp still exist. Large ditches along roadways are designed to handle water, especially when there is large amounts of rainfall. Also during rains, fields hold water until it can percolate into the soil. Today’s farmers, agri-businesses and farm-related government agencies are working toward finding solutions to too many nutrients and too much sediment ending up in Lake Erie and the streams and rivers that feed it.


On the previous page, photos show some of the sights at Goll Woods State Nature Preserve, which shows some of the remnants of what the swamp that covered this part of the state once looked like. Another area where remnants of the swamp remain are at Magee Marsh near Oak Harbor.

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Page 11

Several journals by soldiers who fought in the War of 1812 tell of the horrors associated with the swamp, including multitudes of mosquitoes and the resulting illness they produced that was called ague, but which we know as malaria.” Information from the Historic Sauder Village website

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Life on the Sandusky

Who ya gonna call BY BRITTANY COOK Staff Writer

when you


Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Environmental Division at Seneca County General Health District governs all septic systems and well systems in the county, including providing permits for building. Environmental Director Laura Wallrabenstein said there is much confusion on the SCGHD’s involvement with the process. “People usually turn right to us,” she said. “But the burden is on them. They are the purchaser of this septic system. They’re going to have to make it work. They’re going to pay for the installation, the permit ... so they need to educate themselves and make the choices.” The Household Sewage Treatment System is for residences that do not have access to sewers or are replacing an existing system. The property owner is responsible for siting, design, installation, alteration, operation, monitoring and maintenance of the system, said Wallrabenstein. All changes must go through the SCGHD, except for like-for-like replacements of equipment. To replace or install a system, a series of steps must be completed. First, the homeowner is required to get a site and soil evaluation. This evaluation must be done by a soil scientist or a competent person, Wallrabenstein explained. “It should happen before you ever turn over a shovel of dirt or begin to build your house,” she said. According to the division’s Site Review and Permit Requirement Guide, competency includes, but is not limited to, certification as a professional soils scientist with the Association of Ohio Pedologists. A listing of individuals with this certification can be found at or at the SCGHD. “You want them there first ... because you want to find the very best soil for a septic system on your lot,” she said. “It will tend to be a high spot, good dirt, and the soil evaluator knows... how to look for what is going to be the best spot.” The soil scientist will dig test holes in order to figure out options for the type of septic system. The division is unable to conduct the site and soil evaluations. After the evaluation, the homeowner must get a designer to decide on the option that they would like to pursue. They must provide two possible locations, or a layout plan, to the SCGHD. Following the site and soil evaluation, the SCGHD must complete a site review. Documentation of the site and soil evaluation must be provided to the SCGHD prior to the review, and applicants must pay a $200 fee. The SCGHD will review the layout plan, and upon approval, will contact the homeowner. Before starting construction, the homeowner is required to purchase a SCGHD permit for installationoperation of a household sewage treatment system. Because of this series of steps, all work and decisions are made by the property owner and the designer, not SCGHD. All options for tanks are based on the soil analysis and the soil scientist’s suggestions after the site and soil evaluations. The site and soil evaluation form and complete directions can be found at

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune

In 2012, the division issued 51 septic permits, including 12 leaching tile fields, 6 mounds, 13 off-lot discharging systems (under EPA permit), 4 peat systems and 16 tank replacements. Fourteen septic permits were for new houses. Wallrabenstein said many people in Seneca County think the only option is the mound system when there are several other available types of systems. “It’s not true,” she said. “There are more options all the time. We’re very excited right now, because we have a new option on the table. It’s called group irrigation. We’re about to see our first one installed in the county. ... It’s all based on the soil test.” Wallrabenstein also suggested that when homeowners choose their septic system, they should not always look at the immediate price, but what would be the cheapest for the years to come. “The cheapest possible thing to get in the ground at the get-go might not be the cheapest possible thing to maintain for the next 20 years,” she said. “You kind of have to weigh all those things.” The SCGHD will either monitor the installation or will check the installation after it is completed. Every six months, they will send reminders to homeowners to check the system. “We don’t charge them an operation

and maintenance fee,” she said. “It’s based on the manufacture specifications of the system that they purchase.” The homeowner then must hire someone to check over the system. They are required to provide documentation to the SCGHD that every six months it is being serviced. Every 5 years, the SCGHD will send a reminder to the homeowner saying their tank must be pumped. The rules for the state of Ohio changed in 2007 and required county health districts to follow up on maintenance. The rules have been rescinded since, but Seneca County continued with operation and maintenance. Only those who have purchased a permit after 2007 are part of the program. Any systems purchased previously are not within the SCGHD system. The Ohio Department of Health has proposed new rules for 2014, including that systems do not have to be upgraded. They are also proposing new standards for system construction, alteration and maintenance when a system fails or breaks. The ODH’s goal is to provide a larger range of choices for homeowners that will help lower costs. The sewage treatment system draft rules (Ohio Administrative Code 370129) can be accessed at the ODH website at rules/drafts/drafts.aspx.


On the previous page, an example of a peat mound septic tank dug in Jackson Township is shown. This tank had been inspected by the Seneca County General Health District in 2012.


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Page 13

The cheapest possible thing to get in the ground at the get-go might not be the cheapest possible thing to maintain for the next 20 years.” Seneca County General Health District Environmental Director Laura Wallrabenstein

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Page 14

Life on the Sandusky

Saturday, August 17, 2013

In addition to the HSTS process, the Environmental Division provides well permits. “Any (residential) well that goes into the ground ... goes through here,” she said. Agricultural wells do not require a permit unless homeowners change it into a potable well. “In theory, any agricultural well that’s drilled is supposed to be drilled to the very same standards as the potable well,” she said. This gives homeowners the ability to get a permit for the agricultural well and make it a potable well if they have problems with their original well. The process includes getting the permit, siting the well, drilling the well, and then completing a safe water test. “We have to chlorinate the well, clean it up, and we go to look that it was drilled where it was supposed to be and that it looks OK and we can get a safe water sample,” Wallrabenstein said. In 2012, the division issued 79 well permits. A new permit is $304, with $74 going to the Ohio Department of Health and $18 going to Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The division inspects other aspects of Seneca County, including restaurants, campgrounds, landfills and nuisance complaints. For more information, contact the Environmental Health Department at (419) 447-3691 or visit the website at


Peat mound septic tanks in Bloom Township (top) and Jackson Township (left) are pictured. Each had been inspected by staff at the health district.

The Advertiser-Tribune

Our Town 2013

Page 15

Come see the mill

Indian Mill, north of Upper Sandusky on CR 47, is one of the many attractions on the Sandusky River. Built on the river in 1861, it was pruchased by the Ohio Historical Society in 1968 and now operates as a museum museum on milling from early methods to the present. PHOTO BY MARYANN KROMER

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Page 16


Staff Writer

A lesson underground Life on the Sandusky

Classroom teachers, soil and water conservation district educators and cavern, park, museum and nature center staff are taking part in the K-12 curriculum of Project Underground. Project Underground’s purpose is to create and build an awareness of and responsible attitude toward karst, cave resources and their management needs. Karst is a land area that includes sinkholes, springs, sinking streams and caves. The program was developed in 1993 by Richmond Area Speleological Society in Virginia. Project Underground has become a national educational training program that promotes public involvement and increases public awareness about karst areas and the land use issues unique to these areas, according to the official Project Underground website. A workshop format had been established in order for Project Underground materials to be made available to educators. Educators learn and are shown how to teach karst science in the classroom. Project Underground workshops have been given in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio. Seneca

Saturday, August 17, 2013

County Soil and Water Conservation District hosted a Project Underground workshop July 17. The workshop was run by Jeanne Russell, education coordinator of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources division of soil and water. “Project Underground is similar to other well-recognized national projects in that it is an interdisciplinary, supplemental program that helps formal and non-formal educators build awareness and appreciation for natural resources,” Russell said. “It is unique in its content, as it focuses specifically on karst landscapes with sinkholes, caves, springs and sinking streams, along with the biology and ecology of this underground habitat.” This is the fourth workshop Russell has conducted since taking part in the Project Underground training. During the workshop, participants were given several

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune educational materials, including the 150-page Project Underground curriculum guide, filled with informational material and several activities and experiments students can do in relation to caves and their ecosystems, sink holes and karst. One such activity was “sink hole in a cup.” The experiment consisted of placing sand in a plastic foam cup with a hole at the bottom covered with a sponge. A paper tube is inserted into the cup and filled with sugar, which the sand is poured around. The participants placed the cup with its contents in a cut, two-liter pop bottle filled with water. The sugar would dissolve, forming a sink hole. “About 20 percent of the U.S. (and much of western Ohio) is com-

posed of karst areas,” Russell said. “The hollow nature of karst terrain results in a very high ground water pollution potential, and karst areas also pose a significant geologic hazard. The sudden collapse of an PHOTOS BY NICOLE WALBY

Right, Nicki Morengo from Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District (left) and Robin Mayes from Olentangy Caverns participate in “Sink Hole in a Cup,” creating a sink hole out of sand and sugar. On the previous page, Stacey Roth, tour guide for Seneca Caverns, begins the tour for the Project Underground group, explaining types of rock and the history of the caves.

Page 17

Life on the Sandusky

Page 18

Above, a picture shows the stalactite room at Seneca Caverns in Bellevue. Right, a fracture of the cavern shows an example of how the caves were formed.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune underground cavern or opening of a sinkhole can cause surface subsidence that can severely damage any overlying structure such as a building, bridge or road.” Experts from Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division, Douglas Aden, with geological survey, and Jen Dennison, with the division of wildlife, also spoke during the workshop. Aden discussed his time in the field mapping caves and discovering sinkholes around Ohio. Aden uses several resources to find sinkholes, such as imaging through LiDAR ― light detection and ranging, and using digital elevation monitoring mosaicing. Aden has surveyed three areas so far: Delaware County, Clark County and the area around Bellevue. He said he has found 354 confirmed sinkholes in Delaware County; 114 confirmed sinkholes in Clark County; and 458 confirmed sinkholes around Bellevue. Dennison spoke about the ecology and biology of caves, specifically the importance of bats. “There are 11 different kinds of bats in Ohio,” Dennison said. “Bats tend to get a bad reputation.

Bats are very beneficial to the ecosystems. Bats control the insect populations, help in pollination of plants and help in seed dispersal.” Bats are being eliminated due to deforestation, poaching, habitat loss and a new disease called white-nose syndrome. WNS is caused by a non-native, cold-loving fungus that can be found in caves of the affected regions. Bats that are affected by the fungus are little brown bats, northern long-eared bats, big brown bats, tri-colored bats, eastern small-footed bats, endangered grey bats and endangered Indiana bats. Six of these species reside in Ohio, and seven counties in Ohio have been affected by WNS. “There needs to be more research done on bats,” Dennison said. “There is not much knowledge out there.” After the lectures, the group took a tour of Seneca Caverns in Bellevue. The cave was found in 1872 by two boys, Peter Rutan and Henry Komer of Flat Rock, who had gone rabbit hunting and fell into a hole. The hole turned out to be the entrance of the cave. The cave drops down to about 165 feet, but that is just the surveyed part of the

cave ― there is more, but no one has been able to explore it due to the underground river system, said Denise Bell, owner of the cave. Several educators were part of the workshop including two fourth grade teachers from Calvert Catholic Schools. Jamie Feasel and Mary Leibengood believe the project fits well with the new fourth-grade Common Core standards. The standards place an emphasis on real-world learning experiences, environmental literacy and development of 21st century skills. “The section on bats can be very useful for the students,” Feasel said. “Students will notice bats and sink holes more.” Leibengood said she thinks students would get a lot out of the program. “The classroom activities will be good for them to keep their attention,” she said. Fifth grade teacher Julie Herring of Upper Sandusky Exempted Village School District said a program such as Project Underground will interest and motivate students, and they also will enjoy learning. Many of the participants wanted to be a part of the program to learn more and take informa-


tion back to their students in the classroom. Victoria Stillberger, fourth-grade teacher at Seneca East Local Schools, enjoyed the hands-on approach of the project. “How the Earth’s surface changes is an area that the fourth grade touches on, and this workshop was a very good hands-on example of how the Earth’s surface changes, quickly and over time, Stillberger said. “The bat information was an added bonus. I really enjoyed the experiments that they shared with us. Students love to do experiments, and the ones that were shared were very doable in the classroom.” Stillberger said even she learned a lot from the program. “I did not realize how many sinkholes that were

around this area. I also learned that the bat population is in trouble,” she said. “The model curriculum that is being developed and updated continually by the Ohio Department of Education contains many references to supplemental curriculum guides to enhance classroom learning,” Russell said. “Project Underground does a good job of integrating the scientific concepts with social studies information, math skills, language arts, art, and even health.” For more information about hosting a workshop, contact, Carol Zokaites, national coordinator of Project Underground, at (540) 382-5437, email Carol.Zokaites@dcr. or visit karst

Page 19

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Page 20


Staff Writer

Class on the pond

Life on the Sandusky

For everyone, water quality is important. That is what the staff and students at the National Center for Water Quality Research lab strive to accomplish. The lab first began as the River Laboratory in 1969 by David Baker. The lab later was renamed the Water Quality Laboratory in 1974. The NCWQR is a research arm of the science departments of Heidelberg University. “The lab is interested in finding out what causes water quality problems and what are the best management practices that can be implemented,” Baker said. There is a staff of 10 scientists and technicians assisted by student trainees. Many of the student volunteers can be hired into the lab, Baker said. That was the case for Jakob Boehler, a research assistant and 2011 Heidelberg graduate. Boehler found his love of science when he and his brother would go fishing in Honey Creek. Boehler said after getting bored with fishing, he would play in the stream and turn over rocks and look for organisms. For his job with the lab, Boehler oversees the biological portion of the lab and oversees other student volunteers on their progress. Other aspects of his job include going into the field and collecting samples every Monday, identifying invertebrates in the samples and providing maintenance to the collection sites. Ken Krieger (standing) and Jakob Boehler from Heidelberg University’s National Center for Water Quality Research lab sift through sediment to collect bio samples.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune

“Managing and monitoring the biological aspects of a stream are important in discovering the water quality of a stream,” Boehler said. “Invertebrate indicators, good or bad, determine the health of a stream. You are able to see the long-term impacts of water quality and see the changes that are affecting the streams.” Erin Gorrell and Cody Buhrman were to volunteer in the lab throughout the summer. Gorrell is a biology major and always has loved science since she was a child. “I loved being out in nature,” Gorrell said. It is her job to collect and pick through samples to look for invertebrates and record the data. Gorrell said this is her second semester working in the lab. She has learned about invertebrates and how water quality affects and impacts different habitats. “This is a branch of science I never really knew about. I enjoy

Page 21

Left, Krieger (left) shows science teachers Jon Darkow and Val Karhoff how to catalog samples. Bottom, Boehler (front) shows science teachers Connie Tyree and Jim Less how to skim the surface with a net.

my job here in the lab,” Gorrell said. The scientists’ fields range from water chemistry to biomonitoring and watershed modeling. Early projects of the lab consisted of nutrient and sediment loadings from Ohio rivers that flow into Lake Erie. Since then, the lab extended its studies to Lake Erie in 1978 as a participant in the bi-national Lake Erie

Intensive S t u d y, added pesticide analysis to its monitor programs in 1980 and incorpor a t e d three major tributaries of the Ohio River into its loading studies in the mid 1990s, according to the lab’s annual report. The staff with the lab use water quality data generated from Lake Erie and streams and groundwater wells across the nation to understand and interpret the impacts of food production on soil, and water resources, the status of water quality, the effects



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Page 22

Life on the Sandusky

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ken Kreiger (standing center) shows area teachers Jon Darkow (from left), Jim Less and Justen Ruffing algae forming on a pond at Heidelberg Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s campus.

The Advertiser-Tribune of water quality on aquatic ecosystems and future implications for the availability of healthy, usable water. There are two ways the lab tests water quality, biological testing and chemical testing. The chemical laboratory provides well water and surface water chemical testing services. The private well testing program was developed in 1987. It was introduced to track nitrate and pesticide concentrations in Ohio private drinking water wells, said Ellen Ewing, laboratory manager. Through sponsorship from American Farm Bureau Federation, the program was expanded to other states, Ewing said. There have been 25,000 wells tested from all of Ohio’s 88 counties, along with

35,000 wells tested in 350 counties from 26 other states. Another of the lab’s major programs is the Heidelberg Tributary Loading Program. The program is the “flagship research and monitoring program of the NCWQR,” according to the lab’s annual report. The program began in 1974 and specialized in water quality to measure the total amount of pollutants exported from watersheds by rivers and creeks. For sampling, researchers and student volunteers go out to several selected U.S. Geological Survey stream gauging stations and bring back samples from automatic sampling equipment. There are roughly 16 stations across Ohio and Michigan. The program

Our Town 2013 provides information to support the development of effective and efficient non-point source management programs. Since the beginning, the lab has analyzed almost 200,000 samples. Since fiscal year 2011-12, the lab has: • Carried out 15 separately funded projects • Researchers received nine grants with two pending as of June 30, 2012. • Analyzed more than 8,000 water, sediment, and tissue samples. • Tested compounds including nutrients, pesticides, chlorophyll and phycocyanin pigments, micorocystin toxin, dissolved metals and volatile organic compounds. • Processed more than 160 aquatic invertebrate samples and identified more than 150 species of animals in projects funded

by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Environment Protection Agency • Made 36 presentations at professional conferences, meetings of civic groups and other events.

The NCWQR staff also has conducted several workshops and tours, including one as part of a partnering grant through North Central Ohio Educational Service Center and Seneca Soil and Water Conservation District. The two entities have secured a grant to help teach local teachers how to monitor water quality to be able to implement their lesson plans into the classroom. The project, Watershed Dynamics for 21st Century Learners, has gone through several steps including a chemical sampling session at Ohio

State University’s Stone Laboratory in Put-in-Bay, and a biomonitoring session at Rock Creek on the campus of Heidelberg University. Area school teachers participated in the day of training May 17. Ken Krieger, director of the NCWQR lab, and Boehler worked with the teachers during the session, explaining the proper collection and identification of aquatic invertebrates in local streams. “It is very important for younger generations to be more active in their communities for a number of reasons,” Boehler had said. “The younger generations of today will be the leaders of their communities tomorrow. It is important for them to be active in their commu-

Page 23

nity now so that when they have the ability to lead their community and invoke needed change, they have the understanding and capabilities to do so.” Biomonitoring methods used can be performed many times at the same location, Boehler said. The equipment the teachers received will be used for years to come.

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Page 24


Life on the Sandusky

Conserving water from the

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Honoring creation in the Franciscan tradition, Sisters of St. Francis know how to save water

Too much water can cause mold, mildew and a host of other problems, but many people live in places where water is scarce. To get by, they may buy water and store it or capture the little rainfall they have and use it sparingly. Sister Jane Omlor, who now resides in the strawbale house at St. Francis, is no stranger to the natural sources of water and energy. Retired from working at Web of Life Ecology Center in West Virginia, she collects rain water in two 55-gallon barrels from the roof over the home’s porch. “You can buy 60-gallon rain barrels. They have a lid with a hole in it, and you put a screen over the hole,” Omlor said. In June, an overnight rain filled both barrels, which she uses for gardening. In the future, Omlor hopes to install a more sophisticated water collection system to capture the water from the large barn roof at Franciscan Earth Literacy Center. She learned her conservation practices while living on a remote mountain ridge in Mingo County, W.Va. “For 26 years, rainwater was an integral part of my life. When I was

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune there, we were so conscious of water because of the shortage, or work to get it. I was extremely conservative concerning the water,” Omlor said. “In West Virginia, we had two 500-gallon tanks of water at the house and two 500-gallon tanks at the ecology center.” She built the system at the cabin in 1990 for about $2,000. That included the two tanks, piping, a pump and protective housing. In the winter, it was hard to keep the pipes into the house from freezing. “One old couple, Lorraine and Frank Parsley, had humongous metal cisterns that were above-ground,” Omlor said. “I always kidded Lorraine and said, ‘When you take a shower, you’re probably using water you gathered two years ago.’ They were very conscious of the gift of water, and they preserved it.” When Omlor and Sister Barbara Westrick first moved into the cabin, a well on the property provided drinking water. Showers were their usual mode of personal hygiene, but on the few occasions they took baths, she scooped the water from the tub and used it for the garden. After a few years, the sisters’ well was ruined when a mining company started work in the area. “A lot of people in West Virginia are victims of mountain-top removal mining. Their wells have been destroyed by the blasting. That’s what happened to us. When I went there in 1996, we had beautiful well water. Then the coal mines came in,” Omlor said. The company sent letters to the residents stating a whistle would sound two minutes before a blast. With damaged wells, many people chose to leave their homes. The rest adapted by hauling water and building systems to collect and store it. Omlor said at first, the residents thought mining was a good way to

bring jobs into the area; however, the ecological damage to the area has changed the minds of many. They have become activists for more mining restrictions. The ecology center’s well remained intact for drinking water, but the supply ran low during the center’s five summer youth camps. Only about 1,000 gallons of other water was available for the whole summer. Omlor coached some of the teens to build showers for the campers. “We had outdoor showers. The most primitive is a 55-gallon barrel with a little enclosure around it built with scrap wood,” Omlor said. The barrel was placed in the sun to warm the water. A submersible pump would push the water through a hose or pipe to the shower head. Other barrels were connected to the cistern by pipes. There were indoor showers, too, but all used rainwater captured from the large roof of the ecology center. It was funneled into a series of rain barrels in a stair step set up. When the highest one filled up, the overflow was directed to the next barrel. “We had dry summers, and usually, seven barrels would take care of the summer,” Omlor said. Most of the young campers were accustomed to leisurely daily showers. Omlor had to teach them to rinse off, stop the water, lather and rinse again. She said high school students were not always cooperative, but the younger campers loved it. Although rainwater is not clean enough to drink without boiling, it has many other uses. A neighbor of Omlor’s devised an elevated, gravityfed rain barrel and used it to flush the toilet. Rainwater is fine for gardening and washing cars. It also brought the sisters close to nature.


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On the previous page, the strawbale house at St. Francis in Tiffin has a rain barrel at each end of the back porch to catch water from the porch roof. A watering can sits nearby to dip into the barrel. On the front of the house, another downspout feeds into a pipe to water a rain garden along the driveway. PHOTO BY MARYANN KROMER

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Life on the Sandusky

Page 26

“With that little system I had, we had frogs everywhere. Sometimes when the barrel had just a little bit of water, they would get in on the side of it and start making noise, and it would echo. ... I loved it,” Omlor said. She explained a metal roof is best for catching rainwater because it has less grit than shingles or slats. The dirt settles out of the water to the bottom of the barrel or tank. The person who bought Omlor’s cabin modernized its water system. “When I left, the woman that came added two more 500-gallon tanks, and she had it coming into the house through an infrared purification system with a lot of filters,” Omlor said. While the sisters lived in West Virginia, they had to go off the mountain to get drinking water. Sometimes, they would stop at a house where the owners were willing to share their well water. The sisters also made trips to a natural spring miles from the cabin. “I always had about 15 plastic milk cases with four gallon-jugs in them. I’d haul them in a truck and go down to a spring,” Omlor said. “We’d have to wait in line — that’s

still going on. You park your truck and wait in line. When it’s your turn, there’s a hose coming out of the mountain that had beautiful spring water. In the spring and winter, it would just gush out real fast.” “You’d be surprised at all the people that depend on that because mountain-top mining ruined their wells so they had no source of drinking water,” Omlor said. “When I went to Africa, it was even worse.” During her stay in Africa, there was heavy downpour that could have been a great source of water, but villagers had no way to collect it. Supplies and tools are severely limited. Omlor’s rustic experiences in West Virginia helped her to make do with less. Her old habits are so well-established she sometimes feels guilty about so much accessible, safe water. Omlor said she becomes lax at times. “You really have to think about it to conserve, even me, who was ingrained for 26 years,” Omlor said. “I can really understand why people are not that conscious when it’s abundant, but there are a lot of states where a shortage of water is getting to be very critical.”

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Above, outdoor showers at Web of Life Ecology Center in West Virginia are connected to a cistern to use rainwater for bathing. Left, the cistern is visible through the open door of its housing.

Our Town 2013

News stories have reported forest fires in a number of droughtstricken states. The recent frequent rains in Ohio have kept rain barrels overflowing this summer. Roof runoff from the strawbale house at St. Francis is piped to a rain garden and allowed to run out on the ground.

Rain barrels simple to obtain

Most home improvement stores sell plastic rain barrels, and the Soil and Water Conservation Office on SR 100 also has them for sale to the public. Tricia Brion, wildlife specialist for Seneca County, said the kits from her office are $45 unassembled and $55 assembled. Detailed instructions come with each for assembling the blue containers and hooking them up at home. The kits do not come with a pump. “It’s a 55-gallon barrel. They’re recycled. They come from a company that makes tomato paste, over by Cleveland. Everybody always asks what was in them,” Brion said. She usually needs

“If you have a garden, all you have to do is take a downspout, put it in a rain barrel. ...You can put a lid on it or a screen on top,” Omlor said. The screen can keep branches, leaves and animals out of the barrel. Gardeners can dip the water out with a sprinkling can or pail. Omlor said the setup is easy to

Page 27

build, but it tends to attract mosquitoes. “Mosquito dunks” that kill the larvae can be purchased to float in the water. “They’re little round things that you put into your rain barrel. They’re all natural, but you don’t want this rain barrel to be a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” Omlor cautioned.

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Life on the Sandusky

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Readying for the storm Officials hope the next major flood to hit Seneca County isn’t coming soon, but they’re doing what they can to be ready for it STORY AND PHOTOS BY JILL GOSCHE Online Editor

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune

When flooding strikes, groups can be counted upon to help. Emergency Management Agency is a support agency that is part of a coordinated effort to do whatever is needed for the community. Director Dan Stahl said officials deal with any type of emergency situation in Seneca County, and it provides support for responders. Flooding is just one of the situations with which EMA officials deal, he said. Other situations the agency may help with include weather, transportation emergencies and large-scale fires. When there is a threat of flooding, generally officials are hearing about the situation and reading the forecast, Stahl said. He said he is reading the

hazardous weather outlook, which National Weather Service provides three to four times a day. National Weather Service is responsible for issuing a flood watch. Stahl said he usually has some notice when the weather service expects it to get serious. He sends an email about the weather to officials, including law enforcement, fire, EMS, schools and government. Briefings usually are well-attended, with an estimated 12 to 15 people, he said. During briefings, National Weather Service provides the officials with its best forecast about what to expect with flooding over the next several days. “Usually, there’s only one (briefing),” Stahl

said. He said if the forecast changes or intensifies, officials will have more than one briefing. “(Seneca County people) work together real well,” he said. The local Community Emergency Response Team is one group that helps when there is flooding. Garland Fitch Jr., coordinator of the local CERT, said locally, CERT has responded to flooded areas four or five times in its existence. It started slightly more than six years ago. When dealing with flooding, CERT’s primary action has been to perform damage assessment. Fitch said the information is given to the county, Federal Emergency Management Agency and

Page 29

Water hits the Huss Street bridge in July. On the previous page, TR 132 in Hopewell Township is flooded in July.

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Life on the Sandusky

Page 30

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Left, water in the Sandusky River rose during storms in July.

Below, a ditch along TR 132 in Hopewell Township is filled with water after a storm this summer.

American Red Cross. The team of volunteers is used where officials need it. CERT has done sandbagging in Tiffin and also assists with search and rescue and traffic control. Fitch said the team is used frequently at accidents and fires in Fostoria. CERT has trained nearly 80 people, and about 15 people make up the response team. Fitch said part of the team’s mission is to educate the public. Its next basic training course is 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 12-13 at the county’s public safety building and is free. “We run a basic training course. … We run one a quarter,” he said. Stahl, who has been the director of Seneca County EMA for about 15 years, said in 2008, the river level was about 12.83 feet. It marked the highest the river had been since 1914. “That (level in 2008)

was in February,” he said. Stahl said the situation resulted in a presidential declaration, and Seneca County was declared a disaster. FEMA personnel visited the area, and there was a partial activation of the county’s emergency operations center, he said. The area near Charlotte Street, Tiffin Middle School and Columbian High School was affected. The Locust Grove area experienced “considerable flooding,” Stahl said. Stahl said people around Charlotte Street were taken out in boats by Tiffin Fire Rescue Division, and McCutchenville Volunteer Fire Department assisted with evacuation of Locust Grove. “It was a rain issue,” he said. Stahl said in 2007, Findlay wanted several fire department crews to assist with water rescue. “They wanted some boats,” he said.

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune

Page 31

Above, water rushes in the Sandusky River as seen from the Huss Street bridge in July.

Left, water in the Sandusky River rushes under the Market Street bridge in July.

Stahl said Seneca County’s river was rising as well. Local fire departments went to Findlay and helped with evacuations there. Stahl said in 2011, the areas around Charlotte Street and Locust Grove experienced flooding. It was not serious, but there still was flooding damage. Some people were affected, but the flooding was not as widespread as in 2008, he said. Stahl said flooding issues with the Blanchard or Sandusky rivers occur from heavy rains upstream from where flooding is occurring. Stahl said a large rainfall in the south is needed to affect the river. The Sandusky River starts in eastern Crawford County and western Richland County. The river flows west to east until Upper Sandusky and then flows northward. “Tiffin’s Full Service Real Estate Agency”

When Hardin County and southern Hancock County get a lot of rain, it all flows into Findlay via the Blanchard River, Stahl said. Surface water issues reflect the amount of rain that falls in that immediate area. When there is heavy rain in the Clinton Township area, Rock Creek or Willow Creek basins are affected. Also, parking lots at Heidelberg University and Circular Street are affected by local rainfall. Soil condition also affects the flooding situation. In the winter, when there is about a 100 percent runoff due to the frozen ground, 3-4 inches of rain would be significant. Also, water runs off when the ground already is saturated from a lot of rain. “It can’t absorb any more,” Stahl said.

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Life on the Sandusky

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ready for the call

Seneca Water Rescue Team ready for duty Seneca County Water Rescue Team member Emma Riley (right) acts as a tender to divers Kevin Lyman and Bill Charlton during a training session at Seneca Shores in July.


Although it has yet to be called to an emergency, Seneca County Water Rescue Team will be ready when the time comes to hit the water. The volunteer-based team, which is made up mostly of firefighters and EMTs, meets monthly to train in preparation for a variety of scenarios that could happen in or around a body of water. Training sessions can be in the classroom or on location at various quarries, rivers or ponds. If a situation arises, the team would be dispatched by a fire department, the sheriff’s office or another law enforcement agency. “It’s just another way to help those

that are in need,” said Barb Charlton, a member of the team. Charlton and her husband, Bill, joined the team a couple of years ago after a drowning in the New Riegel area prompted interest in forming a team. Attempts previously had been made to form a water rescue team, but the idea finally had taken hold. Bill is a diver on the team, and Barb, an EMT and the EMS coordinator for Attica, serves mainly as shore personnel. She also is a trainer for the team. About 20 people serve on the water rescue team, she said. “Everybody plays an important role,” Barb Charlton said. The shore personnel, or tenders, hold the rope for the diver while the diver is underwater in the search or recovery mode. They are “the eye” for the diver, Barb Charlton said.

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“We’re the communication the divers have,” she said. About 10 divers make up the team, and all are certified in advanced open water, rescue diver, and search and recovery, said Bob Stover, an open water instructor who serves on the team. The divers use his or her own equipment, which is required to be inspected yearly, Barb charlton said. Barb Charlton’s husband had taken classes with Stover, who was invited to be on the team because of his specialties and expertise. “Bob is very knowledgeable,” Barb Charlton said. “My expertise is solely with the scuba diving, training divers and train-

ing tenders,” Stover said. Training to become a diver on the team is intense and requires numerous hours of training, Stover said. Open water certification is between 12 and 16 hours, advanced open water is five more hours, and search and recovery certification can be done in one weekend. Rescue takes about 24 hours of training, Stover said. “People who want to be a diver on the team are pretty dedicated,” he said. Scenarios in which the water rescue team could be called out include a drowning, a victim in a quarry or aiding in searching for evidence that may have been thrown into a body of water, Barb Charlton said. Although the divers

are not ice-rescue trained and don’t have the equipment or gear to train in ice, the team still could be valuable in assisting at a situation during the winter, Barb Charlton said. Because several bodies of water are in Seneca County, including reservoirs and two large bodies of water, Seneca Shores and the Bettsville quarry, the water rescue team is a valuable resource for Seneca County residents, Barb Charlton said. “I think it’s just another thing to be able to offer our county residents,” she said. “I hope it is a very long time before we are called out,” she said. “I hope to God we are not, but we want to be prepared if we are.” Barb Charlton and

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Page 33

Members of the Seneca County Water Rescue Team bring a “victim” to shore during a training session in July at Seneca Shores.

Stover compared the concept of the water rescue team to a fire department. “We hope we never have to be called to do something,” Stover said. “But it’s nice to know if you do have to use it, it’s there.”

To make a donation to Seneca County Water Rescue Team, which has minimal funding and is in need of equipment, contact Barb Charlton at (419) 618-1536 or Denny Wilkinson at (419) 4475838.

Life on the Sandusky

Page 34


People who want to be a diver on the team are pretty dedicated.â&#x20AC;? Open water instructor Bob Stover (far right), seen here instructing members of Seneca County Water Rescue Team during a training session.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fostoria resident finds ways to save water and money Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune


FOSTORIA — A few years ago, Jim Bailey of Fostoria made a trip to the Palestinian territories, which are occupied by Israel. Water is at a premium in that arid region, and the Israelis often cut off the water supply to the Palestinians. Whenever municipal water is flowing, the Palestinians store it in rooftop tanks for use when none is being piped in. They also have cisterns to collect the sparse rainfall. “The Palestinians pour concrete over low areas and channel the rain water into underground cisterns,” Bailey said. A retired teacher and avid gardener, Bailey has found two ways to save money and conserve water at his home. The first is to build a well for outdoor use. “Three neighbors and I put in a well about 20 years ago. Except for the initial cost of installation and electricity, it is free,” Bailey said. The second strategy was to install a “garden meter” from the city of Fostoria. Having the meter reduces the cost of city water by about 50 percent. Because the water goes on the lawn or garden, it does not get into the city sewers; therefore, people with garden meters do not pay the sewer charge on the water used on grass or plants. Shelly Pahl, a water clerk in Fostoria, said the garden meters cost $175 each and can be purchased at the water office.

The homeowner needs to have a separate line installed with a separate meter. Once it is in place, a city meter reader comes over to be sure it is installed property and working the way it should be. “If you had a pool in your yard and you wanted to fill it, you could use the garden meter for that, and you would only be charged the water rate on it, no sewer. ... It’s for anything you need to do in your yard. It’s on a line that runs through its own meter.” Normally, the cost of Fostoria municipal water is $3.90 a unit, and sewer is $4 a unit for a total of $7.90 for a unit of water. With the garden meter, the cost is $3.90. The savings can add up over time. The city of Tiffin’s Sewer Revenue Office does not give a break on water that goes into pools because there is no way to check on the amount of water used for that purpose. Mary Coffman, who works in the finance department, said some Tiffin residents with wells do have special meters that calculate the rates based on a national average. “There’s one price for in the city limits and one price for out of city limits. Some people who don’t feel they meet that national average can put a meter on. Then our city people do go out and read their meter for them,” Coffman said. Homeowners must install such meters at their own expense. The meters can be read from the street. The city does not do the installation, but it provides a list of local plumbers who could put in the meters. Someone from the city inspects the meter once it is installed.




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Life on the Sandusky

Page 36

Saturday, August 17, 2013

There’s nothing like a trip

down the river BY VICKI JOHNSON

Staff Writer


People who love canoeing, fishing, hunting, watching wildlife or simply finding serenity in nature have a recreational treasure in the Sandusky State Scenic River, the main waterway through Seneca County. People who have their own canoes or small boats have public access to the river. Or if they don’t, Ridgway Canoe Livery has canoes for rent. Although numbers aren’t available for Seneca County, the number of registered kayaks and canoes in Ohio has increased by 23,000 in nine years — from 52,000 in 2003 to 75,000 in 2012 — according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Mark Smith of Ridgway Canoe Livery, 3540 N. CR 33, said the number of people using the livery has increased substantially in the business’s 10 years. “Some days we don’t get

anybody out here, and some days there’s no place to park,” he said. “We have 27 canoes and six kayaks, and sometimes they’re all out.” The average is five to seven canoes on a weekday and 10 or 12 on a weekend day. “The most boats we put out in one day was 48 on the Fourth of July in 2012,” he said. June, July and August are the most popular months, he said, although the livery is open April 1 through Nov. 30. “People are on vacation looking for things to do,” he said. “We get them from all over. We’ve had people from Europe and San Francisco. They’re here visiting family.” But there are many local people, too — from Clyde, Green Springs and Bellevue. “We don’t have so many from Tiffin,” he said. “I guess there’s not a lot of canoe peo-

ple in Tiffin.” Smith said people from other parts of Ohio now travel to Ridgway instead of Mohican, which is known as the largest spot in Ohio for canoeing. “They like it here. It’s wider, not so bottle-necked,” he said. “They enjoy the river and the quiet. And it’s quiet here. They enjoy not having to see other boats.” The scenic runs from Ridgway start at CR 90 south of Tiffin and continue to the Sandusky County Park District’s Wolf Creek Park on SR 53. Each of those two stretches is five hours long. “There also are shorter trips,” he said. Five miles in a canoe averages about two hours. Moonlight trips are becoming popular, he said. On the day of a full moon, the day before and the day after, the livery opens for a midnight-2 a.m. float.

Those dates for the rest of the season are Aug. 20-22, Sept. 18-20, Oct. 18-20 and Nov. 16-18. Smith said sometimes people combine recreational pursuits — sometimes without meaning to. “Fish jump in the boat here,” he said. “We’ve had several people tell us fish jump right in. I’ve had it happen myself. It’s funny in a way, but some people, it scares the hell out of them.” Canoeists who keep their eyes in the air and on the river banks also are likely to see other types of wildlife. “A lot of people are just out here to see the wildlife,” he said. “Just about everybody who goes out from here sees a bald eagle. There are five eagle nests between here and Wolf Creek. And lots more in the northern part.”

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Some of the scenic locations along the Sandusky River include Steyer Nature Preserve in Seneca County (top), Lowe-Volk Park in Jefferson Township (second from top) and the view of Hayes Avenue Bridge in Fremont (above).

A few people even rent canoes to go fishing or turtle hunting, but they must tell workers of their plans to be on the water longer than normal. Sometimes wildlife watching is not the goal at all. Youth groups and large family groups often have other plans. “People take out water balloons in coolers and bomb each other,” he said. “Or the grandparents go to the walking bridge and drop water balloons.” He said they also use “super-soaker” water guns to spray each other from canoe to canoe. While most people are out for a leisurely canoe float, Smith said there are some who visit during times of high water. “We deal with a lot of water, and we’ve had a lot of it this year,” he said. “It’s actually crazy water, if you ask me.” But he said that group is looking for fast-moving rapids. “They’re mainly kayakers,” he said. The best rapids runs are from the Huss Street Bridge to the livery. Especially in early spring and late fall, he said kayakers come from “all over” to test their skills against class 3 and 4 rapids on the Sandusky River.

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“We get those when the water’s up,” Smith said. Earlier this year, the level was 13 feet, according to a gauge at Steyer Nature Preserve. “We closed for a week because the water was so high,” he said. Smith said he looks forward to a time afterthe Ballville Dam is removed and the river has fewer obstructions. “After the dam comes out, we’ll be able to canoe all the way to the (Sandusky) bay,” he said. “I’m going to try it when the dam comes out just to see what it’s like.” Canoeing the entire length of the river would mean paddling for 130 miles, but part of that length isn’t navigable. The river, which joined Ohio’s scenic river system in 1970, is one of the longest rivers in the Lake

Erie watershed, starting in Leesville in Crawford County and moving through Upper Sandusky and northward through Tiffin and Fremont before it empties into Lake Erie at Sandusky Bay. The 65-mile portion designated as scenic flows through Sandusky, Seneca and Wyandot counties. The ODNR website describes the southern two-thirds of the river as relatively flat, characterized by broken ridges ranging from 10 to 50 feet in height, which are representative of end moraines deposited by the glaciers. A “moraine” is a mass of unconsolidated soil, rocks and sediment deposited by a glacier. The river area represents the edge of the glacier as it passed through the area.

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Life on the Sandusky

The northern one-third of the of the river is flat to gently rolling and is characterized by shorelines from ancient lakes that were formed as glaciers receded. The Sandusky is the only stream in the state that is home to all six species of redhorse suckers including the state-endangered river redhorse. Since the removal of St. Johns dam about 10 years ago, which impounded 9 miles, the stream boasts an increased diverse aquatic habitat, the website said. In the website’s description, it says the Sandusky River watershed drains more than 1,825 square miles, or 1.168 million acres, directly into the river or through its tributaries such as Broken Sword, Honey, Tymochtee and Wolf creeks. The watershed is home to 220,000 people, an average of 120 people per square mile, making it the least densely populated of Ohio’s major watersheds. Agriculture accounts for 83 percent of the land use in the watershed. Seneca and Wyandot tribes once made their homes along the river. The 1785 Treaty of Greenville established a boundary between American Indian territory and lands open for white settlement. The watershed was part of Indian land. There were four forts along the river in the early 1800s, including Fort Ball, Fort Seneca and Fort Stephenson, where the Americans won a decisive victory in the War of 1812. Later, the 1817 Treaty of the Miami of Lake Erie laid out reservations along the river in Seneca County, including areas for Big Springs, Delaware, Seneca, Vanmeter and Wyandot. In 1830, Congress passed an Indian removal act, which led to the relocation of tribes from Ohio. The people of those tribes no doubt used the river for hunting and fishing, and those activities continue today. Fall waterfowl hunting is popular, and most of the river is excellent for fishing. Anglers catch mainly catfish, smallmouth bass and white bass. Each spring, the northern portion is known for the annual migration of walleye and white bass from Sandusky Bay to Ballville Dam, Fremont. The migration puts hundreds of thousands of fish within casting distance of the shore between mid-March and mid-April, according to the ODNR website. Although walleye from Lake Erie are prevented from swimming all the way upstream to Seneca County because dams block their way, fishermen can throw in a line from Brady’s Island to Rodger Young Park in Fremont. Anybody who enjoys boating, canoeing, fishing or wildlife watching might be interested in getting a free copy of “Ohio’s Lake Erie Public Access Guidebook Rivers Edition” from the Office of Coastal Management. The updated guidebook details parks, nature preserves, wildlife areas, water trails, historic canals and towpaths, memorials and monuments and roadside fishing areas, as well as more than 200 public access spots along 870 miles of Ohio rivers that flow into Lake Erie — Sandusky, Vermilion, Huron, Cuyahoga, Portage and Black rivers. It can be picked up at locations near the lake or downloaded as a PDF file to a computer, tablet or smartphone from

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Our Town 2013

Page 39

Get cool by the pool

Many waterside attractions in the area COMPILED BY MARYANN KROMER Staff Writer

The Sandusky River is a natural resource that local residents appreciate, but it is not suitable for swimming. As a result, many local communities have built public swimming pools. Their schedules are dictated by the closing and opening of schools. Most offer season passes and daily admission. • The “first and largest” public pool in the county, according to www., was the Crystal Pool at Meadowbrook Park in Bascom. Built in 1929, it measures 60 by 180 feet. It was rebuilt in 1980 and continues to provide swimming for campers at the park and local residents. Daily pool admission is $4 for adults and $3 for children ages 5-11. The address is 5430 W. Tiffin St., Bascom. The park office phone is (419) 9372242, and the pool office is (419) 937-2512. • H.P. Eells Park, 7800 N. TR 70, south of Bettsville, also offers swimming. The former limestone quarry once was owned by Basic Inc. The company added a beach and later donated the park to the village of Bettsville. For more information, call (419) 9866279 or visit Friends of HP Eells Park on Facebook. • Tiffin Parks and Recreation and the YMCA operate an outdoor swimming pool at HedgesBoyer Park, 491 Coe St., during the summer months. Younger visitors can use the wading pool.

The main pool features two diving boards, a spiral slide and a mushroom rain drop. A day pass is $6 for adults, $4 for youth and $15 for family. The phone number is (419) 448-5420. • Fostoria has a waterpark at Vine Street and Park Drive. It has a tot pool, main pool and waterslides. The phone number is (419) 436-0495. More information can be found at or at • Open 1-7 p.m. daily, the Attica pool is located at 14209 E. CR 56. Daily passes are $4. To learn more, call (567) 227-0017 or (419) 426-9611. • Because of repairs, Bloomvilleʼs Beeghly Park Pool, 10 Beeghly Ave., opened Aug. 3 and is to close Wednesday. Daily passes are $4 per person. The poolʼs phone number is (419) 983-1091. • The Carey Memorial Park swimming pool is located at 201 Worrello St., Carey. Phone (419) 3963300. • The Upper Sandusky Pool at 600-698 E. Wyandot Ave. is to close Tuesday. The hours are noon-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday. A day pass is $3. For more details, call (419) 294-3862.

Rest by the reservoir

Reservoirs provide water supplies for many communities. Although they generally do not allow swimming, they are great for boating, fishing, picnic areas and trails for biking and walking. • The city of Fostoria has six reservoirs. Lakes Mottrom and Lamberjack are located off West Tiffin

Street. Lakes Daugherty and Mosier are off Independence Road. Lake LeConte is on CR 23 and Veteransʼ Memorial Reservoir is on SR 12. • Upper Sandusky Reservoir 2 is on CR 60, southeast of the city. • Raccoon Creek Reservoir is located just west of SR 101 in Clyde. • Beaver Creek Reservoir is located on TR 196, just west of SR 101 in northern Seneca County. • The city of Bellevue has five reservoirs. The largest is on the south side of SR 547.

Explore history at a mill

• Pioneer Mill on the Sandusky River in Tiffin currently serves as a fine restaurant, but it started its life in 1822 as one of the first buildings in Tiffin. A dam also was built for water power to run the gristmill. The original wooden dam was replaced with a stone structure in 1921. The mill operated until 1950. The milling machinery no longer is used, but it can be seen in the lower level of the building on Riverside Drive in Tiffin. • Indian Mill, north of Upper Sandusky on CR 47, was built on the Sandusky River in 1861 and purchased by Ohio Historical Society in 1968. The mill is a museum on milling from early methods to the present. It is open to the public 1-6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $1 for adults and 50 cents for children. More information can be found at or by calling (419) 294-3349.

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Page 40


Life on the Sandusky

Fighting fire with water Saturday, August 17, 2013

Area firefighters know importance of H2O on scene

Staff Writer

Firefighters from Tiffin Fire Rescue Division use a hose to fight a training fire on Miami Street in June.

Nothing may be more important than water when it comes to fighting fires. In the city of Tiffin and in Seneca County, water is a firefighter’s first tool when battling blazes both big and small. “Water is our No. 1 necessity,” said Capt. Denny Wilkinson of Clinton Township Volunteer Fire Department. “Water is very beneficial to us. If we didn’t have it, we wouldn’t be able to put anything out.” In Clinton Township, firefighters rely on fire hydrants located at the north and south ends of the township and on a tanker truck that holds 2,250 gallons of water. Two pumper trucks each also carry 1,000 gallons of water, Wilkinson said. A portable pond is another source of water for firefighters. It is transported on the tanker and can hold up to 2,250 gallons of water.

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When responding to a fire, a pumper truck, also known as a fire engine, is the first truck to arrive at the scene. The tanker truck and an equipment truck, which carries air packs, tools, medical supplies and the Jaws of Life, then follow, Wilkinson said. Wilkinson said an officer who arrives first at the scene of a fire determines what equipment and how much water will be needed. If it looks as though extra manpower or more water will be needed, mutual aid from other fire departments may be requested. Wilkinson said some volunteer fire departments in Seneca County have

Our Town 2013

tanker trucks that carry between 3,500 and 4,000 gallons of water. That amount of water can be imperative when fighting a large fire. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With a structure fire, we could go through a large amount of water,â&#x20AC;? he said. When fighting a structure fire, foam also often is utilized, Wilkinson said. Different classes of foam exist for different types of fires, and when mixed with water, it can be very effective in dousing a fire, Wilkinson said. To refill water on the trucks, firefighters either take the trucks to a city hydrant within the township or to a rural

Page 41

While fighting a fire, firefighters rely on hoses hooked to a fire engine.

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Life on the Sandusky

pond, depending on their location. The pond at Sentinel Career & Technology Center is a popular stop, Wilkinson said. Although fire hydrants aren’t always available for Clinton Township Volunteer Fire Department, firefighters in Tiffin rely heavily on the urban water source. Tiffin Fire Chief William Ennis said fire hydrants in Tiffin are usually no more than 450 feet apart, with many of them located on street corners. To connect a fire engine to a hydrant, 1,200 feet of supply hose is on each engine, he said. When arriving to a fire, firefighters first attack the blaze with the 500 gallons of water that is held in the engine while other firefighters work to hook up a hose to a hydrant. “The 500 gallons of water on the truck is essential. A lot of times, it will slow the fire down,” Ennis said. Ennis said one problem firefighters sometimes encounter while hooking up to a fire hydrant is obstructions around it. To allow firefighters to get to hydrants as quickly as possible, residents should make sure they are clear of brush and shrubbery. “The biggest thing that we run into is people wanting to block fire hydrants,” he said. ”If (shrubbery) is there, it takes time to remove it.” Ennis said along with water, foam also is utilized when fighting fires, which can cut down on the amount of water needed. “With house fires, we’ve used anywhere from 50 gallons to 10,000 or 12,000 gallons of water,” Ennis said. While fighting a fire, water pressure can be changed through the pumper, Ennis said. In the event of a major fire, the water company also can turn on extra pumps to keep the water pressure constant. “Water is essential. We rely a lot on water on all of our fires,” he said. “A big fire can really tax us in the water system.”

The 500 gallons of water on the truck is essential. A lot of times, it will slow the fire down.” Tiffin Fire Chief William Ennis

Saturday, August 17, 2013


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Life on the Sandusky

Page 44

The future of

Tiffin’s sewers Staff Writer BY ZACH GASE

Before Tiffin City Engineer Curtis Eagle retired in May, he pushed for a new long-term control plan dealing with the city’s sewers. Eagle said separating the sewers is important because when combined, they can lead to overflows. “Most sewers in Tiffin were combined,” Eagle said. “In other words, storm sewers, house sewers went into the same pipe and it all went to the same plant. And when it wasn’t raining, that was OK, but when it rains, all the rainwater goes to the plant, too. Except the plant can’t handle it, so there are sewer overflows that flow into the river.” Eagle said when he moved to Tiffin, the city had 44 sewer overflows. “That’s why the EPA was going to enact a moratorium on building because the sewers were basically falling apart,” he said. “Not much had been done for generations, so the city had to do something.”

He said the city has worked on improving the sewers in recent years, but still has 32 overflows left. “Storm sewers is kind of the next step of what needs to be done because there’s a lot of storm water issues in Tiffin,” Eagle said. “There’s a lot of drainage problems, but before we could do anything with that, we had to resolve the combined/sanitary sewer issue. We’re getting a handle on that.” Eagle said there have been discussions of implementing a storm water utility fee, meaning citizens would have to pay a certain amount a month that would go into a fund that would pay for building new storm sewers. “With this ‘no new taxes’ mentality, that doesn’t seem that’s very likely to actually amount to much of anything,” he said. In 2006, the city developed a plan to separate the sewers, but in the first couple of phases in the plan, the city discovered many obstacles to completely separating the sewers, Eagle said. “We needed more follow up before we even started these proj-

Saturday, August 17, 2013

ects,” he said. “Separating the downtown, I decided, wasn’t feasible because we have the downtown developing now, and we’re going to dig up roads, shut traffic down and run people out of business for two or three years. … We wouldn’t have been able to accomplish that goal, at least costeffectively, so that’s why I recommended we re-do the longterm control plan completely.” The city has issued requests for qualifications for consulting firms to review the whole plan with a de-emphasis on separating the downtown sewers, he said. Eagle said he recommends the city take the storm and combined flows directly to the plant. “I’ve been through downtown sewer separations twice – in the city of Alpena and the city of Portage – and they were just disasters to businesses,” Eagle said. Eagle said by re-evaluating the city’s long-term control plan, it could save the city $20 million$30 million. He said he expects to have a completed new plan in about a year, which would take about 2025 years to complete. “It’s kind of an evolving thing,” Eagle said. “If you just stick to the plan for 21 years, it’s probably not going to be the best thing to do.” IMAGE VIA GOOGLE MAPS

A skyview of Tiffin from Google. Downtown was slated to be the focus of the next stage of Tiffin’s sewer separation plans, but that plan may change with new information.

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Page 46


Water is the source of everything; used for living and even for working. There are several ways water can be used in the work place. For Dawn Tyree, general manager at the Tiffin Bob Evans, water is crucial to her business. “We cannot really do anything without water,” Tyree said. “We couldn’t really have the business open.” Tyree said employees use water when making food, such as soup and coffee, cleaning sanitation, thawing products, plumbing, washing hands and on the keeping up of the grounds with their irrigation systems. The culinary students at Sentinel

Water a necessity for some jobs

Life on the Sandusky

Career and Technology Center also know the importance of water when preparing food. Lisa Black, culinary instructor, said they constantly use water for washing dishes, laundry, to reheat food, to prepare food such as noodles and eggs and for soups, and to steam food such as vegetables. “The program would not function without water,” Black said. It is not just restaurants that need water. Businesses such as hair salons use water on a daily basis. “Water is very important,” Amanda Criblez, Fiesta Hair Salon’s general manager, said. “We use water to wet down hair for a hair cut; we couldn’t give as

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune good of a hair cut without having water on hand.” The salon uses water to cut hair, shampoo, color, for perms, to disinfect combs, clean stations and to do laundry. “Water is the basis of our job; we could not go a day without water,” Criblez said. “Water is important to every procedure that we do here at Sentinel,” cosmetology instructor Nichole England said. The students use water to perform hair coloring, perms, hair cuts, facials, pedicures and manicures, she said. “Sanitation is very important also,” England said. “The students have to wash down their stations and wash their hands before and after each client.” One incident that England described was a day when the pilot light went out and the students had to use bottled water. “It is hard to tell how much water one would need for each procedure,” England said. “You

do not realize the daily necessity of water until you do not have it. We use water a lot, and it is definitely taken for granted.” Different types of water can affect the tones of hair, said cosmetology student Stacie KippsLucius, a 2013 graduate from Tiffin Columbian High School. “There are different areas that produce hard or soft water that

can change the color of hair,” Kipps-Lucius said. “There are different things that you can do, like buy a water softener or use special types of shampoos.” “For our program, water is used so much that you can’t really do much without it,” she said. Brandi Godlove, a 2013 graduate from Fostoria High School,

Page 47

works at Designer Cuts of Fostoria. Godlove wants to one day own her own salon. “Water is important to the success of any salon,” Godlove said. “Without water and without clean water, a salon could be shut down.”

Far left, Brandi Godlove (left) and Brandi Goeller show the proper way to perform a pedicure. Left, Bridgett Stallard (left) and Sabrina Heck wash the hair of a mannequin, demonstrating how they would wash a customers hair.

On the previous page, Jasmin Dull washes a tomato as part of the preparation for lunch at Sentinel Career and Technology Center’s cafe.



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Life on the Sandusky

Page 50


Complexities of a simple compound

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ohioans have reasonably good access to water for daily living, recreation and industrial uses; however, the water coming out of the wells, bodies of water and municipal water plants usually needs some degree of treatment before it is safe and acceptable.


Staff Writer

Jeff Knedler, president of Hempy Water Conditioning Inc., explained some aspects of the water treatment business. His company has locations in Tiffin, Mansfield, Forest and St. Louisville to serve residential and commercial customers in 20 counties.

A native of northwest Ohio, Knedler earned an undergraduate degree in agricultural business from Ohio State University. He was able to describe the water problems typical of this area of Ohio and the techniques and equipment used to treat those problems. In the home, water that is suitable for bathing, cleaning and laundry may not be potable for drinking and cooking. Families with municipal water service generally are satisfied with the quality of the water coming out of the tap. Those using well water may be more likely to employ water treatment. A water analysis can determine the kind and amount of treatment needed at a particular location.


Daniel Somers of Tiffin checks some of the parts for a system to turn pond water into tap water for a residential customer. Once installed, the large tanks will store the clean water.

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune

“That’s what makes our business so unique and fascinating. Each application is a little different. Family size and water needs are different,” Knedler said.

Water softeners

Knedler calls water softeners “the first line of defense” to remove metals and dissolved rock or hardness from water and improve its quality immensely. Iron and manganese can give water a metallic taste and leave stains on fixtures and laundry. Hard water leaves a scale or scum on glassware and fixtures. Sulphur is not harmful to consume, but it has a rotten egg smell. Knedler said sulphur is released from well water as hydrogen sulphide, a gas that is affected by barometric pressure. The gas can have some unpleasant effects on people and electronics. “In severe cases, it can give you migraines. It definitely will eat up the appliances in the home, because that gas dissipates,” Knedler said. “It can shorten the life of televisions, microwaves and especially the copper in computer boards. We have some cases where we

can smell the sulphur outside when we arrive at the house.” The water softening process or ion exchange is accomplished by beads of resin in the softener unit. Harmful particles in the hard water trade places with beneficial particles on the surface of the resin. “After awhile, the beads can’t hold onto any more, and that’s when it needs to go through a regeneration process. That’s where we use the liquid brine solution. The sodium releases the hardness and iron. We rinse that off of the beads into a drain or sump. That allows the beads to be fresh and ready for the next several days of softening,” Knedler explained. He compared the liquid brine to what is sprayed on roadways in the winter to keep ice from forming. Although many people mistakenly believe the water in the softener flows through the salt tank and should not be consumed, Knedler said that is not the case. The salt solution is used specifically to clean residue out of the mineral bed. Technology has made water softeners very efficient over the years, Knedler


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Page 51

That’s what makes our business so unique and fascinating. Each application is a little different.” Jeff Knedler, president, Hempy Water Conditioning Inc.

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Page 52

said. Many have sophisticated monitors that only recycle when necessary and even tell the unit how much salt to use, based on the usage at a given site. They use a minimum amount of salt. When the salt runs low, the property owner needs to add more to keep the water at a consistent quality. People with exceptionally bad well water may choose to dig a pond and process the pond water for household use. Knedler said usually a fountain shoots water into a sand filter where it is chlorinated to kill bacteria, mold and algae. After being stored in retention tanks, that water is pushed through a carbon filter into a water softener. Next, it is treated again with ultraviolet radiation or reverse osmosis. This expensive system may be the only way for some people to have suitable water.

Reverse osmosis

Even with hardness and metals removed, water still may contain other contaminants with unpleasant odors and tastes. Many consumers want additional treatment for their drinking water. The reverse osmosis process is used to remove traces of pesticides, petroleum, nitrates, sulphates, chlorine, microorganisms, dirt particles and other materials. “Reverse osmosis takes softened water and refines it down to good drinking water. Typically, we run that to a separate spigot at the sink that can be used for drinking, washing vegetables and making pasta,” Knedler said. “Typically, we also

Life on the Sandusky

run a line to the refrigerator so the ice cubes are clean and clear, rather than that white crusty stuff.” A reverse osmosis unit is small enough to fit under the sink. It uses a pre-filter to strain out particles. Then, the water is forced through a pressurized membrane that allows water molecules to pass through, but traps the unwanted compounds and microorganisms. The clean water is stored in a 3- or 4-gallon tank until it is used. It comes out of the storage tank through a carbon filter and out through the faucet. Knedler said large-scale reverse osmosis also is used commercially to refine large quantities of water. “Kalmbach Feeds uses about 10,000 to 15,000 gallons a day of our water. They feed that into a boiler. Then they’re using so much less energy to heat that water, because it’s clean. It’s a wonderful savings for them,” Knedler said.

Bottled water

People who do not want to install water treatment systems, or who cannot afford them, have another option. They can purchase bottled water in various sizes. One-liter and half-liter (16.9 oz.) bottles are widely available in grocery stores, convenience stores, food stands and restaurants. Bottled water typically does not contain the chlorine that is present in municipal tap water. An even better option is the five-gallon jugs for cooking, drinking and preparing coffee and other beverages. These units

Saturday, August 17, 2013 PHOTO BY NICK DUTRO

Hempy Water’s storefront in Tiffin, located at 227 S. Washington St.

can be set up in a home or business. Knedler said Hempy’s five-gallon water jugs are filled from two deep-rock wells in Kent. Tankers truck the water from Kent to the Distillata plant in Cleveland for bottling. Then the jugs are delivered to Hempy for distribution. The 16.9-ounce bottles of Hempy water are filled at Naturalle Springs in Greenville, Tenn. “It is true spring water, our five-gallon bottles and our 16.9 ounce bottles — it’s not filtered city water,” Knedler said. “We don’t do any in-house bottling. ... We purchase the finished product.” Hempy and other companies are offering bottom-loading coolers that do not need the heavy jugs lifted to a high cabinet. The five-gallon containers can be filled with de-ionized water, distilled water, spring water or premium drinking water. Knedler said de-ionized water has the iron and dissolved rock removed, while distilled water has all impurities filtered out, leaving it pure but tasteless. Premium drinking

water is a 50/50 blend of the spring water and distilled water. It has become Hempy’s most popular seller. “The premium drinking water allows you a happy medium. Actually, you want minerals to replenish your body,” Knedler said. In regard to the bottlefree water coolers, he said that trend has not been strong in Ohio. The cooler consists of a reverse osmosis unit concealed in a cabinet, but it is not something that can be plugged in and used immediately, like traditional water coolers. Water going into the unit needs to be pretreated before it goes through reverse osmosis. Usually another feedline needs to be installed for the clean water. Also, the cooler needs a drain to dispose of water that is not clean enough for the filter. Knedler finds it amazing that customers want so many kinds of water. The taste of water varies from source to source. The minerals in spring water give it a distinctive

Our Town 2013

flavor. Municipal water also differs from one community to another. Tiffin’s water comes from wells and the Sandusky River, while other cities depend on lakes or reservoirs for their water supplies.

Conserving resources, protecting the environment

The five-gallon bottles are cleaned, sanitized and refilled, eliminating waste. The smaller bottles are contoured recycle bottles. Knedler said if they are crushed and the top is put back on, they are only a half-inch thick. Hempy customers can return the used bottles to the company. “We collect empty salt bags and empty containers of bottles and empty containers of hydrogen peroxide and take those to Wyandot Recycling,” Knedler said. The man who accepts items for recycling told Knedler “a lot of people just don’t care.” Knedler said his company is trying to do a better job at conserving resources, especially when the plastics would last longer than the average human lifespan buried in a landfill. “We try to recycle in all four of our shops ... I think the recycling and conservation ties in with the water. It plays into the whole premise of clean water,” Knedler said.


In addition to leading his company, Knedler also is the current director

of the Ohio Water Quality A s s o c i a t i o n (, a state trade association representing water treatment industry in Ohio. It educates its members and the public on various issues related to water. As an example of OWQA’s activities, Knedler referred to a case in 2012 in which a firm in Canton was sending out advertising that looked like official state mailings. The company was offering to sell a device called ScaleRid, a magnetic coil that could clean contaminants from the water. The document listed a toll-free number to call for information. When Knedler called, a saleswoman told him ScaleRid attaches to the outside of water pipes and supposedly draws certain compounds out of the tap water. Knedler told her a coil on the outside of the pipe cannot remove anything from the water. He said the coil does dissolve some of the build-up in home plumbing by putting particles in a suspended state, but it does not reduce the hardness of the water. That claim was misleading to consumers. OWQA sent the company’s mailing to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine along with a complaint about fraudulent advertising. The Mansfield Journal printed an article about the company and its questionable claims about ScaleRid. Knedler said the association also deals with the state legislature and the state health department in researching different topics they may be regulating. Knedler said Ohio is

Page 53

Water is our most precious resource. We’ve got to respect it. The water we have is continually recycled. It’s not like we make new. I tell youngsters ‘We have the same water Jesus had.’” Jeff Knedler, president, Hempy Water Conditioning Inc.

making reasonable efforts to draft good legislation, but he is not happy with environmental regulations coming from the federal government. Whenever Knedler speaks to students and other groups, he emphasizes the importance of conservation. “Water is our most precious resource. We’ve got to respect it. The water we have is continually recycled. It’s not like we make new,” Knedler said. “I tell youngsters ‘We have the same water Jesus had.’”

The website has a scrolling video that explains the water cycle, as well as other information about the company. To learn more about the Ohio Water Quality Association, visit

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Life on the Sandusky

Page 54

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Staff Writer

The sweet taste of water Company makes water easier to swallow

Culligan of Tiffin has been doing business in Tiffin for nearly 29 years. Its original location was on Market Street, just east of the river bridge. The owners are Robin Armbruster and her brother Brian Armbruster, who took over when their father retired. “Shortly after my dad bought it, he moved it out here,” Robin said. Currently located at 400 Wentz St., the company has about a dozen

employees. Customers can buy, rent or rent-to-own water treatment equipment from Armbruster’s, and they work on most brands of water softeners. Cargill is the supplier for water softener salt, which is packed in recycled plastic bags. It can be delivered to customers or picked up at the store. “We’ve got a convenient drivethru here so people don’t even have to load their items or get out of their car,” Robin said. In this area, most well water has minerals and iron content that can

be eliminated by a water softener. A blow-down filter can help remove particles from well water before it is softened. Robin said many people also have sulphur in their water. Removing these corrosive materials can extend the lifespan of appliances, fixtures and plumbing. Softened water takes less energy to heat, and it allows people to use lower amounts of cleaning products for personal hygiene, washing laundry and running dishwashers, Robin said. Many business owners also have water softeners.


Robin Armbruster points out some of the water filters available at Culligan of Tiffin.

The Advertiser-Tribune

A varitey of water coolers is on display.

Our Town 2013 “For ice machines, pop machines and coffee makers for businesses, you need to pre-filter so that the water going into the system is purified so they don’t have the calcium build-up,” Robin explained. Once the water is softened or pre-treated, many families, offices and restaurants prefer to process their drinking water even more with reverse osmosis filters. Those with municipal water also utilize such filters to eliminate the chlorine. Although chlorine is effective in killing microorganisms, it can affect the taste of tap water, and the gas can be irritating to inhale. Culligan offers residential reverse osmosis units that are installed under a sink to remove unwanted materials from tap water or well water. The processed water is stored in a three-gallon tank. “It goes through four different filters before it goes into the actual storage tank. It gets the contaminants out,” Robin said. The units contain a carbon filter or a spring filter. After a year or so, the filters become clogged with residue and need to be replaced. Another option for good drinking water is bottled water, which Culligan also keeps in stock. “We have one-gallon bottles. We also carry sports bottles. They are also filled by the same company,” Robin said. That company is Maumee Valley Bottlers, based in Napoleon. Large-scale reverse osmosis is used to

Page 55

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Page 56

Life on the Sandusky

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune

Racks of water jugs sit ready to be loaded into people’s vehicles at Culligan of Tiffin. Water is delivered on a weekly basis with 40 jugs for five-gallon and 63 on the three-gallon rack. On the previous page, a row of exchange tanks is shown at Culligan of Tiffin.

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Life on the Sandusky

Page 58

Saturday, August 17, 2013

For ice machines, pop machines and coffee makers for businesses, you need to pre-filter so that the water going into the system is purified so they don’t have the calcium build-up.” Robin Armbruster, co-owner Culligan of Tiffin


This photo taken in August shows the building for Culligan of Tiffin, 400 Wentz St.

process the bottled water for Culligan. The jugs are delivered to Armbruster’s already filled. “They come in racks of 40 jugs for five-gallon and 63 on the threegallon rack. That’s how they’re delivered to us on a weekly basis,” Robin said. “We carry water in reverse osmosis, de-ionized and fluoride water. A lot of people with younger children are buying the fluoride water.” Although the Armbrusters learned much of the business from their father, Culligan requires its dealers to meet certain requirements. The company offers its own training and monthly classes on new equipment and regulations. They also send dealers notifications by email. “They have different conferences you can go to on a yearly basis. ... A lot of dealers will host workshops in their offices,” Robin said. Based in Illinois, Culligan was founded in 1921. The website for Culligan of Tiffin is tiffin. The phone number is (419) 447-3902.

A ‘bottle-free’ water cooler?

Information on describes a bottle-free water cooler that can be installed in the workplace or home instead of traditional coolers that use the five-gallon jugs. The cooler includes a filter that attaches to the water supply at the site and transfers the filtered water to a tank. The more sophisticated units use ultraviolet light to sanitize the stored water, and the “cooler” can dispense water at different temperatures, not just cold or room temperature. With a bottle-free device, the drinking water supply does not run out. It also eliminates the need for lifting heavy water jugs, because there is no switching, delivery or storage involved.

Our Town 2013

Page 59

Bottled water is big in US In April 2013, the Beverage Marketing Corp. reported Americans annually consume 30.8 gallons of bottled water per person. An article by Peter Gleick, “Bottled Water Sales: The Shocking Reality,” appeared shortly after the report and is posted online at Gleick said the bottled water industry began in 1976. At that time, average consumption in the U.S. was about two gallons per year, and most of it came from office water coolers. The author finds it ironic that Americans have possibly the best tap water in the world, but they shy away from drinking it. He sites four reasons for the rise in bottled water sales: advertising campaigns; fewer public water fountains; fear of contaminants in tap water; and tap water that does not taste good. Replacing soft drinks with water is a healthier choice, but Gleick is concerned about the environmental impact of plastic bottles that do not degrade in landfills and oceans. A July 30, 2013, news article by John Flesher of the Associated Press reported that millions of minute bits of plastic have been discovered polluting the Great Lakes — right in Ohio’s backyard. Statistics suggest 60-70 percent of plastic water bottles are not recycled. Gleick believes states need to strengthen recycling laws to make people comply and to require bottlers to use a percentage of recycled plastic in their containers. Individuals

should take some responsibility and use refillable containers for drinking water, he adds. In May 2008, the Natural Resources Defense Council released a report cautioning the public about plastics containing bisphenol-A or BPA, a carcinogen. In spite of the health risks, the federal government has not banned the use of BPA. The NRDC urges people to be cautious about water bottles and any other plastics labeled numbers 3, 6 and 7. Most bottlers have stopped putting their products in plastic with BPA and switched to polyethylene terephthalate or PET. In addition, plastic bottles are being made with less plastic, according to Between 2000 and 2011, the weight of a 16.9ounce PET bottle has been reduced by nearly 50 percent to 9.89 grams. The Food and Drug Administration regulates bottled water as a food product and works with the International Bottled Water Association to ensure its quality. Consumers complain about the high cost of gasoline, but people who buy the 16.9 bottles of water at $1 each are paying $7.57 per gallon of bottled water. That figure comes from a recent article by CNBC producer Alex Rosenberg. He said Americans spent $11.8 billion on bottled water in 2012. Online:

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Life on the Sandusky

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Staff Writer

Life on the

green springs

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune

Sulphur springs have history

GREEN SPRINGS — Visitors to Green Springs on the northern edge of Seneca County usually detect an unpleasant odor before they lay eyes on its source. The village takes its name from the world’s largest natural sulphur springs. Information about the site, which now is part of the Elmwood campus, is posted on a historical marker on SR 19. The public is permitted to walk around the perimeter of the pond and gaze at the emerald green liquid beneath its glassy surface. Native Americans who once inhabited Ohio knew about the water spurting from a crack in the rocky bottom of the pool and believed its waters had healing powers. The spring became a meeting place for the chiefs and was included in the Seneca Indian Reservation established in 1817 along the east side of the Sandusky River. Tom Craig, president of Stemtown Historical Society, lives on SR 19 near the former reservation, which encompassed 40,000 acres in Seneca and Sandusky counties. He and other local historians have compiled an

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This historical marker can be seen on SR 19 in front of the sulphur spring in Green Springs. On the previous page, trees frame the body of water.

overview of the area’s history. Craig said Ohio Historical Society has visited the museum to gather information for an article in their publication. Its settlers began coming to the region in the 1820s, resulting in clashes with Native Americans. A treaty signed in Washington, D.C., in 1831 forced the Senecas to sell their land and move west. Before their departure, they tried to sabotage the spring with dead animals

and rocks to plug the opening; however, their efforts could not stop the powerful flow of the underground river. Researchers have determined that about 8,000 gallons of mineral water spurt from the spring each day. The water temperature remains at about 50 degrees year-round. The artesian spring may be part of the same underground formations and water features that run

When Jacob Stem bought 1,200 acres to plot out Green Springs, he didn’t buy the springs at that time. When the Indians moved west to Missouri, he bought the springs.” Tom Craig, president of Stemtown Historical Society

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Life on the Sandusky

through Bellevue and Castalia. “They think it is,” Craig said. “Some years ago, people put a glass container with some kind of tracking device in the springs, but it never came up. They were not sure where it went.” The overflow runs into Green Creek and eventually into the Sandusky River, Sandusky Bay and Lake Erie. In the 1830s, white settlers built a church, a store, hotel and a tannery and boot shop. Records show Jacob Stem purchased a large parcel of the Senecas’ land. On May 26, 1939, Stem hired two men to survey the area and plat a town that he named Stemtown. He added another store, a sawmill and a gristmill. Information from Stemtown Museum states the gristmill remains standing at the former Whirlpool Park. “When Jacob Stem bought 1,200 acres to plot out Green Springs, he didn’t buy the springs at that time. When the Indians moved west to Missouri, he bought the springs,” Craig said. The cost was three dozen bags of wheat, corn and oats and two mules. A man named Robert Smith was the next owner of the springs. In 1868, he had the green water analyzed to determine high levels of calcium sulphate and magnesium sulphate. Smith began to promote the curative properties of the water and to develop a resort. The first building was called “The Water Cure.” Some of the people who came to be immersed in the healing pool decided to stay and live in the village. “At one time, there were seven doctors in Green Springs,” Craig said. “The water was considered a health cure. People came by trainloads from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo.” When The Water Cure burned down in 1898, a new sanitarium and Oak Ridge Hotel were constructed. The spring water also was sold in bottles as a tonic until the 1930s. Many stories about the springs have been passed on as oral history. Craig’s favorite one is about a little girl who fell off the bridge between the shore and a gazebo built out in the pond. “She had walked out in the winter time, fell off the bridge and drowned. That’s part of the folklore. Nobody knows for sure if it’s true or not,” he said. In the 1920s, the hotel was converted into Green Springs Sanitarium to treat tuberculosis patients. Recovering clients received physical therapy and opportunities to do art and craft activities. The development of antibiotics eventually reduced the

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Our Town 2013

The Advertiser-Tribune

Page 63

number of tuberculosis cases, so the need for treatment declined. Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, based in St. Louis, Mo., took over the facility in 1953. Craig said one of the resort buildings was converted into a residence for the sisters. The sanitarium became a physical rehabilitation hospital. The sisters also added a nursing home for the elderly. In 1970, the hospital and nursing home were combined to form St. Francis Health Care Centre. By 1983, the facility became Ohio’s first long-term acute care hospital. In 2009, the sisters sold the health care center’s 35 acres to Kathy Hunt, owner of Elmwood Communities. The tradition of healing continues at the site, now called Elmwood at The Springs. Stemtown Museum is open noon-4 p.m. Tuesdays during the summer. Groups can arrange tours at other times by calling (419) 639-2968. PHOTOS BY MARYANN KROMER

Right, shades of green extend from the grassy banks down into the algae-coated rocks of the spring.

On the previous page, Stemtown Museum in Green Springs has a collection of bottles that once held spring water. The “tonic” was sold for more than 50 years. On the wall is a painting of the springs with resort buildings and a gazebo.

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Index of Advertisers Ohio Hearing Professionals........4 9 Optima Rehabilitation Services. 3 5 Oriana House Inc.......................... 3 3

A Anthony Douglas Kitchen & Bath.........................1 3



Professional Hearing Care..........4 8

Brightwireless/ Bascom Telephone...................3 Baumann Tiffin............................. 3 3 Birchaven Village..........................4 8 Blanchard Valley Hospital Pain Management...................4 8 Bodyworks Fitness & Tanning....5 5 Bridge Home Health & Hospice. 4 9


C C.A.R.S............................................ 2 5 Calvert Catholic Schools.............4 3 Charlie’s Small Engine.................3 5 Christian Counseling Center......4 9 Clouse Construction...................2 5 Clouse Electric Ltd.......................5 1 Community Hospice Care...........3 7 Coppus Motors .....................I n s i d e B a c k C o v e r Croghan Colonial Bank................4 1 Custom Machine Inc....................2 5

D Danner Towing & Recycling.......3 9 Drive Thru, The............................... 7

E Eclipse Window Tinting & Auto Detailing......................2 7 Elmwood at The Shawhan............5 Elmwood at The Springs...............5 Engle-Shook Funeral Home & Crematory................................2 3 Ewald’s Furniture.........................2 9

Hayes Presidential Center..........3 1 HeartCare Center.........................4 9 Heidelberg University.................2 1 Hoffmann-Gottfried Funeral Home & Crematory. .1 9 Home Savings and Loan..............1 1

I Integrated Orthopaedics.....4 8 , 6 1

K Karl’s Hauling................................5 9 Kevin Dick, Certified Planner.....1 9 King’s Glass Service......................1 1 Kuebler Shoes............................... 6 3

L Laminate Technologies...............2 9

M Malone, Dr Michael......................2 3 Miracle Ear.....................................4 9


First National Bank of Sycamore............................. 3 9 Frisch’s Big Boy..............................3

Nick’s Lawn Service...................... 3 9 North Central Academy..............5 1 North Central Electric Co-op.....4 5 North Central Ohio Educational Service Center......................... 2 9



Hawk Tree Service..........................9

O.E. Meyer Co......................... 4 1 , 4 9


Safadi, Dr. & Associates.................. 7 Sears............................................... 5 1 Select Realty Group.....................1 5 Seneca Co. Dept. of Job & Family Services.................1 7 , 4 7 Seneca Habitat for Humanity.....5 5 Shreiner, Dr. Robert G..................4 9 Stein Hospice................................6 3 Sycamore American Legion.......3 9

T Tiffin City Schools......................... 5 5 Tiffin Deluxe Services..................6 1 Tiffin Ford-Lincoln......B a c k C o v e r Tiffin Hearing Center...................4 8 Tiffin University.........F r o n t C o v e r Tiffin Women’s Care.....................4 8 Tiffin-Seneca Public Library........5 7 Traunero Funeral Home & Crematory................................1 9 Tri-Pro Realty Ltd......................... 1 3

U United Way, Tiffin-Seneca Co.....3 7

W Walton-Moore Funeral Home....3 9 Warner Deals on Wheels/ Economy Corner.....................5 7 Westgate.......................................5 3 Wilson, Jim Realty........................ 3 1 Wilson Tire Company.....................3 Women & Children’s Center.......4 9 Work Connections International LLC.....................3 3

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Our Town 2013