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Stormwater Management in the Potomac Basin of West Virginia
As land is converted to residential and commercial uses in the Potomac Basin of West Virginia, the new rooftops, sidewalks, driveways, roads and parking lots can cause a lot of runoff to nearby streams and rivers.
As more land is developed, this runoff is creating more problems for our drinking water and other water resources. It transports fertilizers from lawns, oil and chemicals from driveways, and bacteria from pet waste and malfunctioning septic systems. The sheer volume of the runoff is a problem, too, because it has such erosive force bearing down on soils and streambanks. This results in silty, polluted streams, groundwater and wells.
An effort to promote better stormwater management began under the name of “West Virginia Stormwater Network” but quickly grew to include nearby Virginia and other states. It is now called the Great Valley Stormwater Alliance (GVSA). The GVSA is an informal group open to all stormwater practitioners seeking to promote runoff reduction practices and foster practical management of stormwater in karst terrain. You can find more information about the group or even join it by visiting the Chesapeake Watershed Network http://www.chesapeakenetwork.org.
Caption: The eastern panhandle of West Virginia has a lot of karst terrain, meaning that the limestone rock formations have a lot of fissures and direct connections from the land’s surface, down to the groundwater. Therefore, stormwater ponds are often required to be lined in order to protect groundwater. This results in less infiltration of rainwater, and less re-filling of aquifers.
Throughout 2008, the GVSA, with the help of Tom Schueler and the Chesapeake Stormwater Network, began exploring solutions to managing stormwater in karst. A document was drafted to guide planners, engineers, and developers in this region toward stormwater management practices that are most suited for karst terrain.
- WV Region 9 Stormwater Ordinance
- Final WV Stormwater Strategy
- Draft karst guidance: http://www.chesapeakestormwater.net/storage/admin-files/csn-source-documents/CSN%20TB%20No%201%20Karst%20102408.pdf �
If this link doesn’t work, go to www.chesapeakestormwater.net and click on stormwater research highlights on the right bar. It will be Technical Bulletin No. 1.
- Runoff Reduction article from Winter 08-09 WaterNet: http://www.wvca.us/news/upload/wvwn_waternet/1534.2008%20Winter%20Water%20Net.pdf , scroll down to page 4.
- WVDEP Stormwater Team page, specifically the MS4 page: http://www2.wvdep.org/dwwm/stormwater/MS4.htm�� Note you can also sign up to join an interactive mailing list on this page.
- Proceedings of the past “Growing Communities on Karst” conferences: http://growingcommunitiesonkarst.wik.is/
- Great Valley Stormwater Alliance (http://www.chesapeakenetwork.org/group.htm?mode=home&igid=8739)
- Urban Tree Canopy Plan & Goals- Jefferson County