Seven Simple Steps To Save Your Local Streams
Vol. 4 Issue 2, Spring 1999
By Maria Ruth
Report Problems Every citizen should report improperly maintained erosion control fences around construction sites. You can call the Loudoun County Dept. of Building and Development’s Engineering Division Hotline (Update: renamed Erosion and Sediment Control Program) (703) 777-0116. This office handles soil and erosion issues, drainage complaints, road concerns, and developer and homeowner association problems. Provide a brief description of the problem. Your call will be returned within one working day. Complaints and inspections often lead to stop work orders until the problem is fixed.
Become a Waterwise Gardener The Virginia Cooperative Extension Office in Loudoun County offers classes to groups and communities. For information on the program, call (703) 777-0373.
Meet Your Creek Schedule a watershed walk through our stream monitoring program.
Adopt A Stream through our Stream Monitoring Program. Volunteers work in teams on local streams to monitor the quality of the water three times a year. Volunteers are offered free training and use of the equipment for collecting data (temperature, pH, etc.) and identifying the insects that live in the stream. Volunteer through the link above.
Establish a Friends of Your Creek group with neighboring communities to preserve and protect your creek and its tributaries. A “Friends of Goose Creek” group, for example, could unite your neighbors for stream clean ups, stream monitoring, and strategic planting of trees and shrubs (riparian buffers). These activities will help to improve and ensure the quality of your water.
Stencil your Storm Drains with signs stating “Don’t Pollute: This Drain Flows to the Chesapeake Bay (or the name of your nearest creek).” A great public awareness project for Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops.
Fertilize With Care If you fertilize your lawn, learn what kind of grass you have. This determines the best time to add needed nutrients. Most fertilizing should be done in late summer or fall. Overfertilizing is a major source of water pollution; fertilizer adds nutrients to the water which encourages algae growth. Use herbicides and pesticides sparingly and according to directions.