Maumee River Watershed

Maumee River watershedThe Maumee River watershed is located in northwestern Ohio.  It drains a total of 5,024 square miles in Ohio and flows through all or part of 18 counties.  Major municipalities partially or fully in the watershed include Toledo, Defiance, Findlay, Lima, Van Wert, Napoleon and Perrysburg.  The watershed is predominantly comprised of cultivated crops with some urban development, hay and pasture lands, and forest.

The Maumee River is a major tributary to the western Lake Erie basin.  Please see the Lake Erie program page for more information.

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Auglaize River (lower) Watershed

Auglaize River (lower) watershedThe Auglaize River (lower) watershed is located in northwestern Ohio along the Indiana border.  The watershed flows through all or part of six counties.  Municipalities include Van Wert, Paulding, Melrose and part of Defiance.  Cultivated crops are the predominant land use in the watershed with small pockets of urban development.












According to the 2012 Integrated Report, this watershed will next be monitored in 2014 and 2015.

There is no TMDL information available at this time.

There is no supplemental information available at this time.

There is no implementation information available at this time.


Auglaize River (upper) Watershed

Auglaize River (upper) watershedThe Auglaize River (upper) basin is a subwatershed of the Maumee River basin (Lake Erie drainage) located in portions of Auglaize, Allen, Putnam, Van Wert and Paulding Counties.  The TMDL area includes the upper portion of the Auglaize River main stem and tributaries from the headwaters to upstream of the Little Auglaize River.  Agriculture, predominantly row crop, accounts for 89% of the land use in the Auglaize River (upper) basin.  Only 2.2% of the total land use is urban (residential and commercial/industrial combined), including the communities of Wapakoneta, Delphos, Spencerville, Uniopolis, Harrod, Fort Jennings, Oakwood, Westminster, Buckland, Cloverdale and Dupont.








According to the 2012 Integrated Report, this watershed will next be monitored in 2017.

The Upper Auglaize River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report was approved by U.S. EPA on September 23, 2004.

The Auglaize River (upper) TMDL report highlights the fact that the entire upper portion of the Auglaize River main stem is now in full attainment of its designated aquatic life uses, with the exception of a short segment in Wapakoneta.  The improvement in the main stem since 1991 stands out as an example of the positive impact that changes in agricultural management practices can have on water quality.

The Upper Auglaize River TMDL report addresses water quality problems that still exist in the tributaries and were identified on the 2002 and 2004 303(d) lists.  Organic and nutrient enrichment, sedimentation, habitat and flow alterations, and pathogens have been identified as the primary causes of impairment.  TMDLs have been calculated for total phosphorus, dissolved oxygen, habitat (sedimentation and flow), ammonia and bacteria.  Some of the recommended solutions include reduction of nutrient contributions from both point and nonpoint sources, public education about water quality issues, centralized treatment for unsewered communities, septic system improvements, and habitat protection and restoration.  Attainment of the appropriate aquatic life use (Warmwater Habitat biocriteria for the majority of the basin) and the recreational use will be the measures used to determine success.

There is no implementation information available at this time.

Blanchard River Watershed

Blanchard River watershedThe Blanchard River is a tributary to the Auglaize River in the Maumee basin, draining over 770 square miles in northwestern Ohio.  The river originates in Hardin County and flows northward to the City of Findlay, where it abruptly changes direction to flow due west.  The dominant land use in the watershed is small-grained row crop production, accounting for more than 80% of the land area.











Ohio EPA conducted a comprehensive physical, chemical and biological survey of the Blanchard River watershed in 2005, and several problems were identified.  The survey results were published in 2007.  Primary causes of impairment are nutrients, sediment, poor habitat quality, organic substances and high stream temperatures.

According to the 2012 Integrated Report, this watershed will next be monitored in 2020.

The Blanchard River Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report was approved by U.S. EPA on July 2, 2009.  TMDL reports identify and evaluate water quality problems in impaired water bodies and propose solutions to bring those waters into attainment with water quality standards.

TMDLs are calculated for total phosphorus, fecal coliform bacteria, and habitat quality and sedimentation, and scenarios were developed to address water temperature issues.  TMDL recommendations include:

  • lower phosphorus limits and/or phosphorus monitoring for point source dischargers
  • agricultural conservation practices to abate sediment, nutrient and manure pollution
  • local health departments identify and address septic system failures and provide educational opportunities for system owners
  • stream setbacks, controls for subsurface drainage, less damaging channel maintenance, and stream and riparian restoration to improve or protect habitat quality

TMDL Report without appendices

  • TMDL fact sheet
  • Ohio EPA 2007. Biological and Water Quality Study of the Blanchard River and Selected Tributaries 2005. Putnam, Hancock, Seneca, Allen, Wyandot, and Hardin Counties, Ohio. EAS/2007-6-2.

There is no implementation information available at this time.

Maumee River (lower) Tributaries and Lake Erie Tributaries

Maumee River (lower) tributaries and Lake Erie tributariesThe Maumee River (lower) Tributaries watershed is located in and around Toledo.  The Lake Erie tributaries watershed is fairly evenly distributed among Lucas, Wood and Ottawa counties. Land use is predominantly comprised of 65% cultivated cropland, 20% developed land, and 8% wetlands.

Along the Lake Erie shoreline east of Toledo there are two national wildlife refuges (NWR): the Ottawa NWR and the Cedar Point NWR. The refuges help to preserve the diminishing Lake Erie marshes and provide a resting and feeding place for birds traveling to their nesting or wintering grounds. Bald eagles also nest here. Nearby, the Maumee Bay State Park offers recreation and a nature center to educate about the natural ecosystem of the area.






The Lake Erie Tributaries, located in northwestern Ohio, flow directly into Lake Erie east of the Maumee River in Toledo (Ottawa and Lucas counties).  The entire watershed was studied during 2008.  The Cedar Creek-Frontal Lake Erie subwatershed (10-digit hydrologic unit 04100010 07) includes Wolf Creek, Cedar Creek, Crane Creek and Turtle Creek.

Several tributaries to the lower Maumee River (10-digit hydrologic unit 04100009 09) were studied in 2006.  One stream in that subwatershed, Duck Creek, was not studied then because of activities taking place in the stream at that time.  Duck Creek was studied in 2008.  The main stem of the river was not studied with the tributaries.  The study area included the following tributaries of the lower Maumee River: Delaware Creek, Grassy Creek, and Grassy Creek Diversion.  Otter Creek is also included in the study area.

According to the 2012 Integrated Report, the watersheds will next be studied in 2023.

The Maumee River (lower) Tributaries and Lake Erie Tributaries Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Report was approved by U.S. EPA on September 25, 2012.  TMDL reports identify and evaluate water quality problems in impaired water bodies and propose solutions to bring those waters into attainment with water quality standards.

TMDLs were calculated for total phosphorus, ammonia, nitrate plus nitrite, total suspended solids and E. coli bacteria.

Recommendations for regulatory action resulting from this TMDL analysis include lower effluent limits for total phosphorus.  Nonpoint sources of total phosphorus should be addressed by reducing overland flow and nutrient inputs; for sediment by reducing overland flow; for habitat by improving riparian vegetation and stabilizing stream banks; and for bacteria by identifying and fixing failing home sewage treatment systems and by proper land application of manure and biosolids.  Nonpoint sources are typically addressed by voluntary actions.

There is no implementation information available at this time.

Maumee River Main Stem

Maumee River main stemThe Maumee River drains northeast to Maumee Bay in Lake Erie through Toledo.  The watershed draining to the Maumee River main stem is very large (4,820 square miles in Ohio) and covers all or parts of 20 counties.  Defiance, Napoleon, Perrysburg, Maumee and Toledo are the largest municipalities along the main stem, though there are several other large cities within the watershed draining to the main stem.  The majority of the watershed is cultivated crop land, though concentrated areas of pasture are located in the northwestern and southeastern areas of the watershed.  Developed land is approximately 11.5% of the land use.  Several municipalities withdraw drinking water from the Maumee, Tiffin and Auglaize rivers, including Bowling Green, McClure, Napoleon and Defiance.  Campbell Soup also withdraws water from the Maumee River.






The Maumee River is located in northwest Ohio.  The entire main stem of the river is being studied during 2012, along with sites on several major tributary streams.  The Maumee River flows into Maumee Bay on Lake Erie at Toledo in Lucas County.  The study area is divided into several stream segments, as follows:

  • 04100005 90 01  Maumee River, Indiana border to Tiffin River
  • 04100009 90 01  Maumee River, Tiffin River to Beaver Creek
  • 04100009 90 02  Maumee River, Beaver Creek to Maumee Bay
  • 04100006 90 01  Tiffin River, Brush Creek to mouth
  • 04100007 90 01  Auglaize River, Ottawa River to mouth
  • 04100009 01 06  South Turkeyfoot Creek (1 site)
  • 04100009 03 02  Bad Creek (1 site)
  • 04100009 05 09  Beaver Creek (1 site)

Each of these subwatersheds contains smaller areas that form the assessment units used in Ohio’s Integrated Report.

There is no TMDL information available at this time.

There is no implementation information available at this time.

Ottawa River Watershed (Lima area)

Ottawa River (Lima area) watershedThe Ottawa River watershed is located in northwest Ohio.  The Ottawa River drains 365 square miles, flowing into the Auglaize River at Kalida and eventually into Lake Erie via the Maumee River.

The watershed primarily lies in Hardin, Allen and Putnam counties.  There are small portions in Auglaize and Hancock counties.  The watershed is dominated by crop land (69%), developed land (nearly 19%), and forest (less than 7%).  The largest communities in the watershed are Lima and Fort Shawnee.  Smaller communities partially or fully within the watershed include Ada, Lafayette, Beaverdam, Cridersville, Elida, Cairo, Columbus Grove and Kalida.  The City of Lima obtains some of its public drinking water from the Ottawa River upstream of Lima.






The Ottawa River was studied in 2010.  The watershed is divided into three subwatersheds, as follows:

  • 04100007 03        Upper Ottawa River
  • 04100007 04        Middle Ottawa River
  • 04100007 05        Lower Ottawa River

According to the 2012 Integrated Report, this watershed will next be monitored in 2025.

Ohio EPA is providing for public review and comment the draft Ottawa River (Lima Area) Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Report, which has been developed in fulfillment of Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act.  The public review period ends on May 20, 2013.

There is no implementation information available at this time.

Powell Creek Watershed

Powell Creek watershedPowell Creek is a tributary to the Auglaize River, draining 98 square miles in northwestern Ohio near the Defiance.  The Powell Creek watershed lies within the former lakebed of the Great Black Swamp and has fine grained, poorly drained soils.  Land use in the watershed consists of 83 percent row crop, eight percent forest, five percent open developed land.












Water quality monitoring in 2000 identified pervasive impairments of aquatic life uses.  Primary causes of impairment are nutrients, sediment, organic substances and poor habitat quality.  Sources are runoff from agricultural landscapes, channel modification, Continental’s WWTP and failing septic systems.

The Powell Creek Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report was approved by U.S. EPA on June 18, 2009.  TMDL reports identify and evaluate water quality problems in impaired water bodies and propose solutions to bring those waters into attainment with water quality standards.

TMDLs were calculated for total phosphorus, nitrate, biological oxygen demand, and total suspended solids.  TMDL recommendations include:

  • agricultural conservation practices for abating sediment, nutrient and manure pollution
  • local health departments identify and address septic system failures and provide educational opportunities
  • stream setbacks, controls for subsurface drainage, less damaging channel maintenance, and stream restoration to improve or protect habitat quality

Final TMDL Report without appendices

There is no implementation information available at this time.

St. Joseph River Watershed

St. Joseph River watershedOriginating in Hillsdale County, Michigan, the St. Joseph River flows southwest through Williams and Defiance counties in Ohio, and Dekalb and Allen counties in Indiana, to join with the St. Marys River at Fort Wayne to form the Maumee River.  Major tributaries of the St. Joseph River are Fish Creek, Bear Creek, Eagle Creek, Nettle Creek, East Branch, and West Branch St. Joseph River.  One major tributary of specific ecological significance is Fish Creek, noted for the presence of federally and state endangered bivalve mollusks.

The St. Joseph River watershed lies within the Eastern Corn Belt Plains ecoregion, distinguished by a gently rolling glacial till plain with moraines, kames, and outwash plains.  Local relief is usually less than 50 feet.






The St. Joseph River is located in northwest Ohio.  The portion of the watershed that is located in Ohio is being studied during 2013.  The St. Joseph River flows into the Maumee River at Fort Wayne in Allen County in Indiana.  The St. Joseph River watershed is divided into five subwatersheds, as follows:

  • 04100003 01        East Branch St Joseph River
  • 04100003 02        West Branch St Joseph River
  • 04100003 03        Nettle Creek-St Joseph River
  • 04100003 04        Fish Creek
  • 04100003 05        Sol Shank Ditch-St Joseph River

Nettle Lake will also be studied as part of the 2013 watershed survey.  A copy of the study plan for 2013 sampling is available in the Supplemental Information link below.

There is no TMDL information available at this time.

There is no implementation information available at this time.

St. Marys River Watershed

St. Marys River watershedThe St. Marys River watershed is located in northwestern Ohio along the Ohio-Indiana border.  The St. Marys River combines with the St. Joseph River to form the Maumee River in Indiana.  The predominant land use in the watershed is cultivated crops, with small pockets of urban development and pasture and hay lands.  Municipalities fully or partially in the watershed include St. Marys, Celina, New Bremen, New Knoxville and Minster.











According to the 2012 Integrated Report, this watershed will next be monitored in 2015.

There is no TMDL information available at this time.

There is no implementation information available at this time.

Swan Creek Watershed

Swan Creek watershedThe Swan Creek watershed drains 204 square miles of northwest Ohio.  Swan Creek is a subwatershed of the Maumee River and covers portions of Lucas, Fulton and Henry counties.  The watershed overlaps the southwestern portion of Toledo; smaller municipalities include Swanton, Whitehouse and Holland.  Portions of the unique Oak Openings region are located in this watershed.











Ohio EPA conducted a comprehensive physical, chemical and biological survey of the Swan Creek watershed in 2006, and several problems were identified.  The survey results were published in March 2009.  Major causes of impairment are nutrients, sedimentation / siltation and degraded habitats.  Major sources of impairment include nonpoint source pollution and habitat degradation associated with farming practices and drainage improvements as well as urban land uses.  Sources of bacteria include failing home sewage treatment systems, combined sewer overflows and wastewater treatment plants, in addition to nonpoint sources related to agricultural land uses.

According to the 2012 Integrated Report, this watershed will next be monitored in 2022.

The Swan Creek Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report was approved by U.S. EPA on January 6, 2010.  TMDL reports identify and evaluate water quality problems in impaired water bodies and propose solutions to bring those waters into attainment with water quality standards.

TMDLs were prepared for nitrate-nitrite, total suspended solids, E. coli, total phosphorus, total copper, total aluminum, benzo[a]pyrene, ammonia, dissolved solids, strontium and dieldrin.

Potential solutions include habitat improvement and stream restoration, reduction of nutrients through agricultural best management practices, fixing and replacing failing home sewage treatment systems, and implementation of the CSO long term control plan in Toledo.

Final TMDL Report without appendices

There is no implementation information available at this time.

Tiffin River Watershed

Tiffin River watershedThe Tiffin River watershed is located in northwestern Ohio and flows through all or part of four counties.  Municipalities include Archbold, West Unity, Bryan and part of Defiance.  The watershed is predominantly comprised of cultivated crops with some urban development; hay and pasture lands are more common along the northwestern boundary of the watershed.












The Tiffin River is located in northwest Ohio.  The portion of the watershed that is located in Ohio is being studied during 2013.  The Tiffin River flows into the Maumee River at Defiance in Defiance County.  The Tiffin River watershed is divided into five subwatersheds, as follows:

  • 04100006 02        Mill Creek-Bean Creek
  • 04100006 03        Upper Tiffin River
  • 04100006 04        Lick Creek
  • 04100006 05        Middle Tiffin River
  • 04100006 06        Lower Tiffin River
  • 04100006 90 01  Tiffin River mainstem

Archbold #2 Reservoir will also be studied as part of the 2013 watershed survey.  The study plan for 2013 monitoring is available at the Supplemental Information link below.

There is no TMDL information available at this time.

There is no implementation information available at this time.

Other Maumee River Tributaries

Other Maumee River tributariesThis group of tributaries to the Maumee River includes South Turkeyfoot Creek, Beaver Creek, Bad Creek and Tontogany Creek, among others.  At this point in time, there are no watershed surveys planned for these tributaries.













There is no monitoring information available at this time.

There is no TMDL information available at this time.

There is no supplemental information available at this time.

The following implementation projects have been completed in the watershed.