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Fall Creek (Lower) WMP Update

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In March of 2007 the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) received a Section 319 Non-Point Source Program grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to develop a WMP for the Lower Fall Creek watershed.  This original WMP was completed and approved by IDEM in May of 2009. In 2019, Reconnecting to Our Waterways (ROW) provided funding to the Marion County SWCD to update the Lower Fall Creek WMP. Funding for the update of the Lower Fall Creek WMP was provided by the ROW Flex Fund grant program and donations from various local partnering organizations including Citizens Energy Group (Citizens), the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Axia Urban, and the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  Further, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LLC (Burke) was once again retained to assist in the coordination of the planning effort.

The Lower Fall Creek watershed is located in the most populated and fastest growing areas of Indiana.   The Lower Fall Creek watershed drains approximately 66,000 acres (103 square miles) of rural, suburban, and urban land in Central Indiana. The watershed covers portions of Hamilton County (City of Noblesville, City of Fishers), Hancock County (Town of McCordsville), Madison County, and Marion County (City of Indianapolis, City of Lawrence).  Within the Lower Fall Creek watershed, there are over 800 miles of streams and tributaries. The Lower Fall Creek watershed consists of four sub-watersheds- Headwaters Mud Creek (HUC 051202010901), Indian Lake – Indian Creek (HUC 051202010902), Sand Creek – Mud Creek (HUC 051202010903), and Devon Creek – Fall Creek (HUC 051202010904). The majority of land use in the project watershed is developed (60%) and agriculture (31%) with forest at 7%.

The Lower Fall Creek WMP was approved by IDEM and US Environmental Protection Agency in April 2023. The Steering Committee used data and modeling to develop the goal statements for bacteria, sediment, and nutrients. The approved WMP includes goals to reduce the pollutant loading of nitrogen by 125 tons/year, phosphorus by 23.5 tons/year, and sediment by 3,400 tons/year within ten years. The bacteria goal is to reduce E. coli loading by 99.5% within CSO areas and 52% upstream of the CSO area by 2026. The overall project progress will be tracked using the action register and implementation schedule as a guide for the schedule of activities to be completed throughout the future. It is hoped that, through the implementation of this WMP, improved water quality conditions will be realized that will benefit all residents of the Lower Fall Creek Watershed.

The Complete Lower Fall Creek Watershed Management Plan

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