U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Document Type


Date of this Version



The American Midland Naturalist Vol. 54, No. 1 (Jul., 1955), pp. 78-88


U.S. government work


Year round studies of environmental conditions in Lytle Creek, a stream polluted with organic wastes, were initiated late in 1949, by the Biology Section of the Public Health Service's Environmental Health Center.2 Lytle Creek is a tributary of the Little Miami River which enters the Ohio River at Cincinnati. It is about 11 miles long, and has an average width and depth of 15 feet and 1 foot respectively, during normal summer flows. Widths range from 3 to 35 feet and depths from a few inches to a maximum of 6 feet. Surface runoff comprises the major portion of the natural stream flow. During the summer months the stream has only one functional tributary below the outfall from the primary sewage treatment plant of the city of Wilmington which contributes 80 to 90 percent of the total stream flow. This large amount of organic waste quickly blots out normal stream conditions in the summer and a definite septic zone is established below the sewage outfall. However, all well recognized pollutional zones are established and the stream returns to essentially clean water conditions before it joins Todds Fork of the Little Miami River.