Sustainable Frederick – Rock Creek Stream Restoration

Rainwater that doesn’t infiltrate into
the ground or doesn’t sink into the ground is called stormwater runoff,
and we have to manage that runoff. And how do we do that? There’s two major components to management of stormwater runoff. One, we provide safe conveyance of that runoff. And we provide water quality treatment, some kind of quality treatment, for that runoff. The stormwater runoff is conveyed through
pipes under the streets. And then that water, stormwater is then discharged someplace,
typically into a stormwater management pond. In some of the older sections of
the city we don’t have ponds so it’s discharged directly into drainage swales
like Maryvale ditch or into Rock Creek. This project is the
Rock Creek Stream Restoration project. This process started three years ago. We looked at this stretch of Creek and determined it was eroding at a really quick rate we needed to do something about the banks. So the Rock Creek Restoration
project was a project to help meet some of our stormwater requirements for the
MS4 permit. And the restoration project also served to help shore up the banks and make sure that they did not erode more quickly than they already had been. And to make sure that we were capturing some of the sediment that we see coming
down the stream. Rock Creek is a tributary of Carroll
Creek, and Carroll Creek is a tributary of the Monocacy. So it all kind of works
together for the Monocacy watershed. The importance of maintaining any watershed,
whether it’s Rock Creek or any others, one, it could be a water supply not all
of them are our water supplies but it could be. There’s also a lot of critters
that they support a lot of wildlife both in the water and outside the water. When it rains the water comes down and
it hits the streets and goes into what we have, its intakes and goes into, once it
goes through the intakes it goes into a pipe system which eventually makes it to
the creeks down to the rivers and ultimately to the Chesapeake Bay
and into the Atlantic Ocean. Safe conveyance is provided by having some kind of a system to carry that stormwater runoff from the place that it falls to streams and rivers and eventually out into the Chesapeake Bay. The Monocacy is actually
part of the Potomac watershed and then when you bring it out on a larger scale,
Chesapeake Bay watershed. The systems, they gather all the rainwater, the water coming from the mountains. And ultimately it collects all the pollutants
and everything that goes to it. We know that a lot of our creeks and
streams are impaired with sediment. And the Monocacy certainly is impaired with sediment. What we are attempting to do is make sure that we prevent major
pollutants from entering our streams. So, what are those pollutants: Sediment, oils and greases and anything that stormwater runoff picks up and carries to our streams. There’s so much impervious that the little streams can’t handle it which is why we’re backing those outfalls out of the stream. By having a more natural area for
that stormwater to runoff through, it cleans it before it gets to our waterways. So, a riparian buffer is an area of forestation. Sometimes it’s a small vegetation right
outside the banks and then it gets into trees. They are able to kind of cool the water, they shade it. And that, in turn, improves the fishery, it keeps everything, the water cool for those fish and the little critters that live in there. And then, of course, the air quality is going to be improved as well. So, with the additional tree canopy and other vegetation, that cleans the air we’re getting some significant benefits by adding some canopy to our city. Along with the Stream Restoration comes some some of these sort of structures. They
add ripples in that allows us to direct the water where we want it to go. And it also provides a space
for fish and critters to survive. Anytime we have a chance to put extra vegetation in, you’re going to end up with better air quality. By doing this it armors the banks. That helps to provide quality treatment. When we support the watersheds and protect them, you end up protecting yourself as well Chip Stitely, the assistant deputy director
of operations, the utility division. Hi, I’m Tracy Coleman. I’m the Deputy Director of the Department of Public Works in charge of Engineering and Operations. Jenny Willoughby, Sustainability Manager
for The City of Frederick

Glenn Chapman

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