about south river federation

Health Department Stream Restoration

South River Federation is excited to start on our next major stormwater project that will help stop harmful sediment from reaching Broad Creek, our 2nd most polluted tributary on the South River. Currently, the streams at the base of the large hill that runs behind Anne Arundel Department of Health (off Truman Parkway) are eroding at an alarming pace.

Chunks of stream bank (4 foot tall by 2 foot thick) regularly fall into the streams during rain storms, a contributing factor on why Broad Creek turns the color of chocolate milk when it rains.

Broad Creek sediment plume

Health Dept Project mapThis project will be accomplished in multiple phases. While internally we are calling this 2018 project as phase 1, the rain garden the Federation installed at the edge of the Health Department’s parking lot in 2008, should really get the credit for the start of this initiative. In January of 2018, we will start construction of a series of cascading step pools that will slow down, cool, and filter the stormwater before it reaches the headwaters of Broad Creek. The water is not only physically filtered through a mix of sand and carbon, but excess nutrients and heavy metals are absorbed by the wetland plants planted in and alongside the pools. Did you know that wetland plants have the capability of absorbing heavy metals such as copper and zinc, common metals found in parking lots of auto wear and tear?

We are grateful to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, the County’s Watershed and Protection Restoration Program, and the County’s Parks and Recreation for their funding and support of phase one the project, that includes 16 step-pools stretching some 500 feet. There are several popular hiking and running trails in the area that are suffering from severe erosion, making some trails unusable.

Broad Creek erosion

Health Dept Project mapThe Federation is currently discussing with engineers how much stormwater needs to be controlled as it enters or leaves the parking lot, and underground stormwater vaults might be installed beneath the parking lot to slow down the initial storm surge. There is also another gully that parallels the one we are working on in 2018 that has been identified as also needing stormwater management.