Werntz Ditch

Area: 1,971.84 ac.

HUC: Werntz Ditch is part of 12 digit HUC 040500012102 (what is a Hydrologic Unit Code HUC?)

The Werntz Ditch is one of four notable tributaries to the Baugo Creek, which drains a portion of western Elkhart County and eastern St. Joseph County and flows into the St. Joseph River at the Ferrettie / Baugo Creek County Park by Osceola, IN. According to the National Land Cover Database from 2011, 45% of the Werntz Ditch Watershed has some kind of development, 1.9% is forested, 1.6% is wetlands, and the rest is agriculture (Stream Stats). Nearly all of the Town of Wakarusa is located within the Werntz Ditch Watershed.

The September 2004 Baugo Creek / Wisler Ditch Watershed Management Plan identified the Werntz Ditch (a tributary to the Wisler Ditch) as a significant contributor of Escherichia coli (E. coli) to Baugo Creek. E. coli is in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals and as such is an indicator organism for the presence of sewage or manure contamination, meaning both urban and agricultural land uses are sources. Over the past 20 years, the Town of Wakarusa, local and state governmental agencies, and local landowners have been working together to eliminate sources of E. coli, but there is still work to be done to reach water quality standards for E. coli.

Since 2004, the Town of Wakarusa has eliminated two combined sewer overflow (CSO) pipes and has four permitted (IN0024775) CSO pipes discharging into the Werntz Ditch. In 2023, there were no dry weather or wet weather (after a rain event) overflows reported (Wakarusa News).

What’s going on in the Baugo Creek Watershed?

Get involved in efforts to protect the Baugo Creek Watershed by learning more and having fun.

Path of a Rain Drop: Baugo Creek

In 2020, the Elkhart River Restoration Association launched efforts to protect and improve the Upper Elkhart River Watershed…

Ferretti/Baugo Creek County Park

Located on County Line Road, north of U.S. 933 in Osceola. 214 acres with trails along Baugo Creek, open fields near where Baugo Creek enters….

How’s the water?

There are many ways that water quality can be tracked. Check out these helpful websites to look at data relating to water quality.

Watershed Partners