Water Quality

On September 17, 2004, Hurricane Ivan deposited an average of 6.25 inches of rain in a 24 hour period over the 277 square mile watershed.  The rain fell on ground fully saturated from  Hurricane Frances, forming an unprecedented series of events that led to what is now characterized as the 500 year flood.  But is it?  

Crafton's natural floodplain easily accepts stormwaters during September's Hurricane Ivan

Diverting excess flow to natural floodplains which can accommodate the extra water, like Crafton's, above, should form an integral part of any regional or watershed stormwater management plan. 

Click on the links above & scroll down the box to read about water quality issues facing the Chartiers Watershed

Water level in Chartiers Creek spiked to 23.98 feet, spilling over its banks, rising above the flood control levees and inundating the floodplain in many low-lying communities.  

Peak flow was 23,.500 cubic feet per second, or 175,000 gallons per second, greater than the combined flow over the American & Bridal Falls at Niagara Falls, which is 150,000 gallons per second.  

Measures to reduce flooding and water pollution are under-designed for current land use.  Effective stormwater management reduces sediment load, and will better control both peak and low water flows.

Impediments to water quality in Chartiers Creek and its tributaries are the excess sediment & turbidity from inadequately restricted development and resultant loss of forest cover; combined sewer overflows (CSOs); and abandoned mine drainage (AMD).  

During stormwater events, water quality is severely affected.  Sampling the macro and microbiology, or "critters" in the water will give an indication of the overall health of the water and the ecosystem.  Water quality projects identify, characterize and remediate pollution sources.  Most of these projects are funded publicly through grants from state agencies, with matching funds from private foundations.


What happened during Hurricane Ivan ? How do watersheds function ?Why is a stream orange