Stormwater quality management strategy: Peters Creek watershed

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The effect of stormwater runoff on the water quality of Peters Creek was investigated. Creek water was sampled at rural, suburban and urban sites. Background and runoff samples were analyzed for sediment, nutrient and heavy metal concentrations.

The area upstream of the suburban site was found to contribute the greatest contamination to the creek but the heavy metal contributions were accumulated throughout the watershed. The creek water contained sufficient nutrients to potentially contribute to the eutrophication of Smith Mountain Lake downstream. As the watershed has been developed, flooding has increased in frequency.

The detrimental effects of runoff can be reduced in the watershed by clearing the trash from the creek bed, enforcing construction erosion control and creek bed alteration ordinances and by building a series of detention basins in the creek upstream from common sites of flooding.