Increased urbanization results in a larger percentage of connected impervious areas and can contribute large quantities of stormwater runoff and significant quantities of debris and pollutants (e.g., litter, oils, microorganisms, sediments, nutrients, organic matter, and heavy metals) to receiving waters. To improve water quality in urban and suburban areas, watershed managers often incorporate best management practices (BMPs) to reduce the quantity of runoff as well as to minimize pollutants and other stressors contained in stormwater runoff. It is well known that land-use practices directly impact urban streams. Stream flows in urbanized watersheds increase in magnitude as a function of impervious area and can result in degradation of the natural stream channel morphology affecting the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of the stream. Stream bank erosion, which also increases with increased stream flows, can lead to bank instability, property loss, infrastructure damage, and increased sediment loading to the stream. Increased sediment loads may lead to water quality degradation downstream and have negative impacts on fish, benthic invertebrates, and other aquatic life. Accotink Creek is in the greater Chesapeake Bay and Potomac watersheds, which have strict sediment criteria. The USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) and USGS (United States Geological Survey) are investigating the effectiveness of stream restoration techniques as a BMP to decrease sediment load and improve bank stability, biological integrity, and in-stream water quality in an impaired urban watershed in Fairfax, Virginia. This multi-year project continuously monitors turbidity, specific conductance, pH, and water temperature, as well as biological and chemical water quality parameters. In addition, physical parameters (e.g., pebble counts, longitudinal and cross sectional stream surveys) were measured to assess geomorphic changes associated with the restoration. Data from the pre-construction and initial post-construction phases are presented in this report. ?? 2007 ASCE.
Additional Publication Details
Evaluating the accotink creek restoration project for improving water quality, in-stream habitat, and bank stability
World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2006: Examining the Confluence of Environmental and Water Concerns