Big Darby Creek Watershed

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The Darby Joint Board of Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors was formed in October 2000.  The purpose of the Board is to develop an implementable community-based watershed plan to maintain and enhance the socio-economic and ecological health of the Darby Creek Watershed.  The board is made up of five supervisors from Madison, Union, Pickaway and Champaign Counties.  This Board addresses water quality concerns of landowners in the six counties which make up the Big Darby Creek Watershed. (Champaign, Franklin, Logan, Madison, Pickaway and Union).   

In addition to the Joint Board, there is also a Planning team that also works on this project.  The planning team consists of interested volunteer landowners who reviewed the subwatershed plans prior to Joint Board approval.  These landowners also assist the coordinator as needed. 

Quick Facts about the Darby Watershed

  • The Darby Joint Board formed in October 2000.
  • The Darby Joint Board is comprised of Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors
  • The planning process began in January 2001.
  • The Darby Joint Board meets once per month.  Please check the upcoming dates for the next Joint Board meeting date.
  • The Darby Watershed is located in central Ohio and drains 555.6 square miles.
  • There are 20 subwatersheds that make up the Darby Watershed
  • For planning purposes a few of these subwatersheds were combined to form 17 subwatersheds.
  • It primarily in six counties: Champaign(15.6%), Franklin(15.2%), Logan(4.7%), Madison(31.0%), Pickaway(10.0%) and Union(23.4%)
  • The major streams in the watershed are Big and Little Darby Creeks, Flat Branch, Buck Run, Robinson Run, Sugar Run, Treacle Creek, Proctor Run, Spring Fork and Hellbranch.
  • Cities and villages in watershed include: North Lewisburg, Marysville, Milford Center, Plain City, Woodstock, Mechanicsburg, West Jefferson,  Darbydale, Harrisburg, Orient and Darbyville
  • One of the most tested and observed watersheds in Ohio
  • The Darby supports a wide range of bugs(macroinvertebrates), fish and mussels, some of which are endangered
  • The majority of the land in the watershed is agricultural(74%) and wooded(22%)
  • Eighty-two miles Big and Little Darby Creeks were designated State Scenic Rivers in 1984 and in 1994, they were given the national designation
  • The Scenic designation includes the following areas: Big Darby Creek from the Champaign-Union County line downstream to the US Rt. 40 Bridge, from the northern boundary of Battelle-Darby Creek Metro Park to the confluence with the Little Darby Creek downstream to the Scioto River and Little Darby Creek from the Lafayette-Plain City Road Bridge downstream to the confluence with Big Darby Creek.
  • Home to Big Darby Plains Scenic Byway.


  • The Darby Watershed project is currently looking for projects that will enhance and maintain water quality in Big and Little Darby Creeks and their tributaries.  Projects may include items such as widening stream buffers, addressing stream bank erosion, stream restoration or restoring wetlands.  These are a sample of potential projects.  There may be other projects out there that will also help to address water quality.  If you know of any projects that you would like to see implemented, please contact your local SWCD for more information.  There may be grant funding available from Ohio EPA or other sources for projects. 

  • Rural Drainage manual is available online at ODNR's FTP site.

  • A draft rule addressing mitigation requirements for impacts on streams will be made available in early 2009.  Because of the content of that rule that relates to parts of the draft Water Quality Standards rules, and to the Draft Section 401 Water Quality Certification rules and draft Antidegradation rule, the comment deadline for all four rule packages will be 60 days after the stream mitigation rule is made available. An announcement of the comment deadline will be made when the draft stream mitigation rule is made available.   Click here to download fact sheets (PDF 116K) that summarize the overall scope

  • Water Quality Standard Rules(OAC:3745-1) draft rules are now available.  Comments will be due in sometime in Spring 2009:

    Bob Heitzman
    Ohio EPA
    Division of Surface Water
    P.O. Box 1049
    Columbus, OH 43216-1049

    email: Bob Heitzman
    fax: (614)644-2745

    If you would like further information about this rulemaking, please contact Dan Dudley at or by calling (614) 644-2876.

  • 401/Wetland/Stream Mitigation Rules(OAC 3745-1, 3745-32 and 3745-45) draft rules are now available.  Comments will be due in sometime in Spring 2009:

    Randy Bournique
    Ohio EPA
    Division of Surface Water
    Lazarus Government Center
    P.O. Box 1049
    Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049

    email: Randy Bournique
    fax: (614)644-2745

    If you would like further information about this rulemaking, please contact Randy Bournique at the e-mail address above or by calling (614) 644-2013.

Upcoming Dates and activities

April 14, 2009

  • Madison SWCD Board Meeting- 8:00AM
  • Union SWCD Board Meeting

April 16, 2009

  • Champaign SWCD Board meeting

April 17-18, 2009

  • Franklin SWCD's tree sale pickup(Order must be placed by March 13th)
        - April 17th: 7:00 AM-6:00 PM
        - April 18th: 8:00 AM- 12:00 PM (Noon)

April 18, 2009

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All information found on this website is for informational purposes only by the Darby Joint Board of Supervisors. All text, images, logos and information contained on this website are property of the Joint Board and they may not be used or reproduced without permission of the Joint Board. 
For problems or questions regarding this website please contact the Website Administrator.
Last updated: April 7, 2009.