Issues in Our Watersheds

Stormwater/Polluted Runoff

DSCF1428The main causes of degradation to our watersheds are the sediments, bacteria, nutrients, and organic materials washed into the streams during heavy precipitation events.

Sediments:   Sediments clog the natural structure of the stream substrate and greatly reduce the natural function and habitat in the stream.

Bacteria:  Bacteria and pathogens from many animal sources are washed into the streams, potentially rendering these waters unsafe for recreational use.

Nutrients:  Nitrates and phosphates from fertilizers and other sources which enter the stream have the potential to disrupt the natural food chain, causing accelerated growth of some plants, and harming others.

Organics:  Stormwater runoff is often loaded with organic materials from lawns, fields, impervious surfaces, and other land based sources.

Pollutant laden runoff is “discharged” directly into our streams at thousands of places throughout the watershed, often with a volume much greater than the stream’s baseflow.  The streams become essentially conduits for a type of waste water.  The increased flows also damage the stream channels in many ways.

Stormwater is often a hidden problem, and the solutions are readily available. GVWA is actively bringing this issue to the public’s awareness, and we are advocates for broader implementation of green infrastructure designed to reduce or eliminate polluted runoff.