Properly Install & Maintain BMPs

Silt Fence / Super Silt Fence When properly installed, silt fence will trap sediment and allow water to pass through. The super silt fence has a wire fence for support and to protect the fence from buckling from larger rocks on steep slopes. Dirt Bag A dirt bag is a great BMP when working in a confined area near a stream. The sediment laden water flows into the bag, the sediment settles out and the water flows out of the porous material. When the Dirt Bag is filled, the bag is removed and can be cut open and the sediment spread, allowing for nutrient rich soil to not be wasted. Stone Check Dam The dam traps sediment and larger debris from leaving the site. Vegetation Vegetation is a key to keeping sediment out of streams and rivers. Through the establishment of grass, trees, and shrubs, sediment is filtered and water velocity is slowed.

The amount of sediment entering a waterbody increases with ANY type of land disturbance. ANYONE conducting land disturbing activities has an impact on the watershed; therefore education is a major component of non-point source pollution prevention. The challenges of sediment reduction can be addressed through cooperation and education. For information and technical assistance contact: WV Conservation Agency Watershed Resource Center 1900 Kanawha Blvd., East Charleston, WV 25305-0193 304-558-0382 FAX: 304-558-0373 In WV: 800-682-7866

Need for Education

Sediment Challenges for Wild Mountains & Rolling Streams…
Sediment is the # 1 pollutant of
West Virginia’s waterbodies and significantly degrades water quality. West Virginia’s sediment problems result from a challenging topography, lack of proper sediment and erosion control, and lack of proper stormwater management. From urbanized areas with flat terrain and a high population growth to very rural, mountainous terrain, these issues must be addressed specific to landscape.

Where Does It Come From?
The main source of pollution that enters the rivers and streams of West Virginia is sediment due to road construction. Large, small, access, and recreation roads, as well as growth and development, all contribute to the sediment challenges in West Virginia.

Why is “muddy” water a problem?
QUALITY OF WATER * Once sediment enters the stream, toxins, nutrients, and other pollutants can degrade the water quality of the stream. This has impacts on plants, animals, and humans.

By Volume, Sediment is the largest water pollutant in West Virginia. Lack of vegetation, steep slopes and increased runoff can cause a thousand fold increase in the rate of erosion. On construction sites, erosion rates can run into hundreds of tons per acre. A specific example of soil loss within a particular watershed is an estimated 4100 tons per year from 155 miles of abandoned resource extraction roads .

The main sources of sediment in West Virginia come from new development, updating and building of new highways, roads used for various purposes, and agriculture.

FISH HABITAT * Turbidity (mud) in water can clog fish gills and cover benthic (bottom) habitat, both of which can reduce fish populations.

FLOODING * Loss of vegetation along streams and steep banks allow sediment to flow directly into streams.

* Vegetation on slopes slow water flow, decreasing flooding.

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