Tom and I have the privilege of living between two reservoirs: Hoover Reservoir and Alum Creek. Recently we have been exploring the nature preserves around Hoover Reservoir. I decided to give you a little history of the reservoir before I describe the nature preserves.
Hoover Reservoir was started in 1952 and finished in 1955. The reservoir is named after Charles and Clarence Hoover, who worked for a combined 90 years with the Columbus Waterworks. Charles and Clarence were chemists, bacteriologists, and engineers. They were instrumental in inventing methods of water and wastewater treatment that are still used today. Charles Hoover is credited with the co-discovery of a water softening process using lime and soda ash. Their efforts reduced the number of deaths resulting from typhoid in the early 20th century.
Hoover Reservoir, with its 5 square miles of water surface, provides 60% of the water used in the City of Columbus today. The water is released into Big Walnut Creek and pumped into the Big Walnut Water Treatment Plant on Morse Road. The plant treats 130 million gallons of water per day. Because the reservoir is very important in providing water to Columbus, use of the lake and development around it are limited. Boats are limited to 10 horsepower and there is no industrial use of the reservoir. No swimming is permitted in the lake.
The water in the reservoir and Big Walnut Creek is considered good quality. Although the dam could be fitted to generate hydro-electric power, it is currently only used to provide water to the city. Alum Creek reservoir, on the other hand, was built for flood control. It is also a water storage in case there is a water shortage emergency. Delaware County is currently expanding its water treatment by building a plant at Alum Creek.
Tom and I walked around the Hoover Reservoir Park by the dam. There is a boat ramp and fishing docks on the west side of the reservoir. On the east side is a large disc golf course and a nature trail. We were there on a cold day in December and there were about 30 people out playing disc golf.
The nature trail was nice and wound down to a point along the reservoir. It was very muddy where the snow had melted and we spent some time cleaning our boots in the snow after our walk. The trail was about a mile long. There is also a trail along the top of the dam but it is currently closed off. I’m not sure if they are doing repair work or just concerned about people slipping.
Hoover Reservoir is a beautiful lake and we are lucky to live so close. It looks like it would be a wonderful place to explore by kayak when the weather is warmer.