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Ways Citizens Can Be On the Look Out (BOLO) for Sediment James Beckley Chickahominy Swamp Rats.

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Presentation on theme: "Ways Citizens Can Be On the Look Out (BOLO) for Sediment James Beckley Chickahominy Swamp Rats."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ways Citizens Can Be On the Look Out (BOLO) for Sediment James Beckley Chickahominy Swamp Rats

2 Before We Begin Our Friend Dirt is not that friendly in water

3 The Sediment Problem Sediment is a leading cause of degrading benthic habitat Sediment carries some nitrogen and most phosphorus into waterways Fecal bacteria are more easily carried into water where erosion occurs On average, Chesapeake Bay receives 14,795 tones of sediment every day (e.g. ~120 train cars load)

4 Major Sources of Sediment Construction activities Farming and livestock management Impervious surfaces Channelization of storm water and streams Deforestation or removal of vegetative cover Natural weathering of rocks

5 Simple Ways to Monitor Sediment Stream walks and visual observation Secchi disks or turbidity tubes Pebble count Laboratory analysis

6 Stream Walks Walk along the streambed and note conditions at regular intervals –Locations of storm drain or other pipe outfalls –Steepness of stream banks –Condition of stream bed –Width of riparian buffer zones –Blockages to flow –Unusual conditions

7 Example Stream Walk Chickahominy Swamp Rat Stream Walk –Done on March 23, 2013. –Walk to identify storm and sewer drainages in creek due to high bacteria levels –Walk discovered excessive erosion

8 JRA Get the Dirt Out Program James River Association recently developed a brochure to help volunteers know what good and bad construction erosion control practices to look for

9 Secchi Disks and Turbidity Tubes Low cost and simple method to measure water clarity Secchi readings used in deeper water like lakes or rivers Turbidity tubes for streams or very turbid water Readings can roughly equate to turbidity (NTU) readings –Lower the Secchi or turbidity tube reading, the higher the turbidity (NTU) measurement

10 A $5 Turbidity Tube? Plastic sleeve used to protect florescent tubes - $2.50 for 4 foot length 1 ½ inch PVC cap $2.00 Super glue- ~$0.25 Masking tape- ~0.10 Sharpie Marker- ~$0.15 Turbidity tube to monitor with- Priceless Instructions at http://mms-stream-study-

11 Pebble Count Procedure found at etinvolved/sos/Pages/SOPpeb ble.aspx etinvolved/sos/Pages/SOPpeb ble.aspx Not as effective at detecting particles smaller than gravel (e.g. sand/silt) Useful for long term gauging of stream change and benthic habitat Size categoriesSize range/descriptions Silt Very small (smooth feel) Sand Very small (grainy feel) Fine gravel 2 - 16 mm Coarse gravel 17 - 64 mm Cobble 65 - 256 mm Boulder 257 - 1025 mm Bedrock > 1025 (or large solid surface) Woody debris Sticks, leaves etc.

12 Laboratory Analysis- TSS Measures solids in water column at time of collection Units in mg/L Total Volatile Suspended Solids (TVSS) measures organic weight of sample Only measures what is suspended in water $40-50 per sample Readings above 30 mg/L usually indicate excessive sediment (no VA standard)

13 Laboratory Analysis- Turbidity Measures how much suspended sediment absorbs or scatters light Measured as Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU) Readings greater than 25 NTU usually indicate excessive turbidity (no VA standard) Cost ~$20 sample Can be measured in the field using a turbidity meter or Secchi disk/turbidity tube

14 Laboratory Analysis- Particle Analysis Ratio of particles in sample –Either suspended in water or if doing a sample of stream bed components Units in mg/Kg or % of sample $150+ per sample

15 Final Thoughts Keep your eyes open! Take notes and photo/video Contact your local conservation group or county/state officials when something is amiss Dont give up!

16 Questions

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