Watershed Education Program
Important Stormwater Management Information Available for Presentation.
Fairfax County is working on a project with residents to enhance the current stormwater management program to improve streams, prevent flooding and erosion and raise awareness about stormwater issues. County representatives are available to speak to organizations, associations and groups about this project and the possible funding options to finance the improvements. Request a county representative to speak to your group by contacting the Fairfax County Stormwater Planning Division at 703-324-5821 via e-mail.
What is the Upper Accotink Creek Watershed Program?
The Upper Accotink Creek Watershed Education Program focuses on promoting environmental stewardship among the citizens of Fairfax County in general, and the Upper Accotink Creek Watershed in particular. Through a program of watershed education and awareness, the meaning and importance of watersheds, how they work, and how they are impaired will be brought to the public’s attention, along with what can be done to improve the Accotink Creek Watershed and other county watersheds.
Why is such a program needed?
Lake Accotink has lost 20 surface acres in the past 15 years. This has been caused by sedimentation. Many people believe that sedimentation is only a result of failure to control runoff from construction sites; however, the sedimentation that is shrinking Lake Accotink is due to the large amount of impervious surfaces (parking lots, roads, roofs) in already built and stabilized areas. A temporary solution to this problem is the upcoming dredging of the lake. While this is a stopgap for preserving the recreational value of Lake Accotink, it does not address the causes that led to the need to dredge in the first place.
What is causing so much sedimentation in Lake Accotink?
Fairfax County is already a highly suburbanized area. The Upper Accotink Creek Watershed has been developed for many years now. When it rains, all the water in the watershed eventually ends up in Lake Accotink. Instead of flowing across the land and being absorbed by the ground, water ends up rushing over those impervious surfaces. The water speeds up so much that by the time it reaches the streams and creeks, it is moving very quickly. It scours the sides, or banks, of the streams and creeks. Such a large amount of water moving rapidly after a storm is referred to as a storm surge. This sediment then gets deposited in Lake Accotink.