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Published: Monday, 8/4/2008

East Toledo's Hecklinger Pond is in good health

BY MEREDITH BYERS
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Paul McLennan, 3, and his mom, Dawn McLennan, visit the pond along with Tammy Dean and her daughter, Emily Dean, 11. The pond was drained and cleaned in 2007. Paul McLennan, 3, and his mom, Dawn McLennan, visit the pond along with Tammy Dean and her daughter, Emily Dean, 11. The pond was drained and cleaned in 2007.
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Even though the green material covering Hecklinger Pond appears unsightly, city officials say it poses no cause for alarm.

Chuck Campbell, chief of water resources for the city of Toledo, said he has been monitoring the pond since it was drained, refilled, and restocked with fish in April. "We aren't seeing anything crazy," he said. "Algae grows in water."

City Councilman Mike Craig agreed.

"The good news is that the pond seems to be doing well. The bad news is that it just looks pretty bad," he said.

Hecklinger, the only remaining pond in East Toledo, was the subject of a $500,000 restoration last summer. The pond's fish were removed and destroyed because they were contaminated by sewage. Two cars were found when the pond was drained.

Dawn McLennan of Point Place, who made a recent trip to the pond, said its appearance has improved tremendously since last year. "I thought it looked better than it did last year," she said. "When they were draining it, the water was filthy and there were cars once they took all the pollution out."

Craig Craig
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Dave Leffler, director of public utilities for the city of Toledo, said the pond's algae coating is a sign of improvement for the previously polluted pond.

Now that the water has become clear, sunlight can reach the bottom of the pond, which causes algae to grow.

"It's like when you first set up a fish tank, it gets cloudy before it gets clear," he said.

Mr. Leffler said the conditions would improve as the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler. "I don't anticipate the same level next year," he said.

Dina Pierce, a spokesman for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, said algae growth was especially common this time of year.

"It is a phenomenon of the summer," she said. "There is harmful algae, but most of what we see, especially in these kinds of ponds, is nontoxic."



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