water

Lighten the Load with DEP and Safeway

Lighten the Load with DEP and Safeway
Get up to 3 LEDs and a free reusable bag at an upcoming Safeway event!

Bring in your old incandescent or CFL light bulbs and DEP will exchange them for up to 3 new and energy efficient LEDs. The ENERGY STAR®-certified LEDs we’re giving away offer a warm white light that’s equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent bulb.

Not only will you save money by getting free LEDs, but also you’ll pocket money from lower electric bills. You could cut your utility bill by at least $25 per year by replacing five traditional, incandescent bulbs with LEDs.

LED prices have declined 85 percent in recent years, and bulbs can be bought for as little as $2 to $5.

   

Mondays from 4-6pm at a Safeway near you:


 

  The giveaway is a partnership between Department of Environmental Protection and Safeway. DEP Logo Square Safeway

Blue Spotlight On: The Anacostia Watershed

Blue Spotlight On: The Anacostia Watershed
This is the first in an upcoming series where we put the “Blue Spotlight” on a local watershed. You’ll get a quick look at this watershed and some of the challenges and opportunities to keep it healthy.


About the Anacostia Watershed

The 176 square mile Anacostia watershed spans Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and the District of Columbia. Montgomery County is home to four tributaries that flow into the Anacostia River:
  • Sligo Creek
  • Northwest Branch
  • Paint Branch
  • Little Paint Branch.
Rainwater that falls within this watershed finds its way downhill into these streams, which flow into the mainstem of the Anacostia River and ultimately the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.

   

Challenges

The Anacostia is one of Montgomery County’s most heavily developed watersheds and much of this development took place prior to stormwater management regulations. DEP and other organizations have gone back into these neighborhoods in recent years to install stormwater management practices in neighborhoods throughout the watershed and have restored many impacted streams.

The State of Maryland lists the Anacostia River Watershed as impaired, with damage caused by excessive nutrients, sediment, trash, bacteria, and polychlorinated biphenyls or PCB’s.

DEP is required to clean up the County’s portion of the watershed and lower the amounts of these pollutants entering our waterways. Restoration projects, RainScapes practices, street sweeping, and tree planting all help DEP reach these goals.

 
Cleanup in the Anacostia River

Volunteer picks up trash during a stream cleanup along Bucknell Drive.

 

Restoration Highlights

Montgomery County DEP has completed over 70 watershed restoration projects in the Anacostia watershed, including:
  • 5 new stormwater management ponds
  • 16 stormwater management pond retrofits
  • 8 Green Streets neighborhoods
  • 347 individual rain gardens, bioretentions, and tree boxes
  • 28 stream restoration projects for a total of 16 miles of restored Anacostia tributaries
  • 425 Rainscapes rebates issued for residential stormwater practices
  • 5 acres of new forest planted
 
Hollywood Branch Stream Restoration

Hollywood Branch Stream Restoration – 4,470 feet of stream restoration north of Cannon Road Elementary School in Colesville

 

Year of the Anacostia

2018 has been designated the Year of the Anacostia. Agencies and watershed partners have planned a series of volunteer events, river cleanups, and educational opportunities throughout the year in celebration of restoration and historic milestones in the Anacostia.

  Did you know? The Anacostia River was designated by the State of Maryland as a “Scenic and Wild River” in 1984.

 
Breewood Tributary

Breewood, a restored tributary of Sligo Creek and the Anacostia River

 

Recreational Opportunities

Montgomery County offers many recreational opportunities in the headwaters of the Anacostia River. The streamside and floodplain habitat on Sligo Creek, Northwest Branch, and Paint Branch are protected by M-NCPCC parkland where citizens can hike, bike, and enjoy these headwater streams. A few highlights include:  
Northwest Gorge – Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park at Burnt Mills

Northwest Gorge – Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park at Burnt Mills

 

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer with DEP Join a Watershed Group:   Five volunteers standing next to all the trash they picked up from a stormwater facility.  

More Photos of the Anacostia Watershed

 
Brown Trout

Paint Branch, a tributary of the Anacostia River, supports a naturally reproducing Brown Trout fishery. Brown Trout highly sensitive to water quality and temperature and only live in the most pristine, coolest stream habitat in the County.

 
Dennis Avenue Green Streets

Students from DEP’s 2017 National Green Infrastructure Certification Program explore a bioswale off Lanark Way at the Dennis Avenue Green Streets project.

 
NIH Stormwater Management Pond in Bethesda.

NIH Stormwater Management Pond in Bethesda.

 

A RainScapes rain garden installed in the Anacostia watershed. DEP’s RainScapes program offers technical and financial assistance to encourage property owners to implement stormwater projects on their properties. Projects include rain gardens, conservation landscapes, rain barrels, green roofs, and permeable pavers. Find out more here.

 

Celebration Amidst the Rain: Little Falls Community rallies around a new Bioretention

Celebration Amidst the Rain: Little Falls Community rallies around a new Bioretention
It was a dark and stormy night…

Well, you know how the story goes. And recently, it seems we’ve had many stormy days and nights in Montgomery County!

According to the Washington Post, in the last 26 days, our area has received more than 10.4 inches of rain. This ranks second most on record for this time of year. We have also seen five separate storms unload at least an inch of rain.

On May 19th, we definitely felt some of that rain at the Little Falls Library but to many of us, it was a good thing – it was our chance to see a brand new bioretention in action, doing what it was made to do.

 
Bioretention Drainage

The completed bioretention treats 0.77 acres of impervious surfaces such as the library’s roof and parking lot. Nearly 700 plants were installed just days prior to the event.


  DEP, the Little Falls Library, Little Falls Watershed Alliance (LFWA) and the Friends of the Little Falls Library all worked together to host the Little Falls Watershed Celebration. While it was rough setting up for the event as the rain poured down on us, it ended up being a great time for both the planners and the community.

Mikel Moore, LFWA, led the effort and brought the groups together to host the event. Residents had the chance to learn about stormwater, the Little Falls watershed, native plants, soil, macroinvertebrate (stream bugs) and more. There were even kids crafts and a blue grass band to set the mood.

 

A long time in the making

After initial analysis, the bioretention project began in 2012 by requesting bids from engineering firms. Once one was awarded, the process of permitting, cost estimates, designs, and public meetings began. After 5 years in development, construction commenced in 2017 coinciding with the refresh of the library. The celebration event culminated the many years of planning and even featured a planting of 700 plants days before.

It was great to see so many residents come out in the rain to celebrate this wonderful community amenity and support the health of their local watershed.

For more information about the project, visit our website.

 
Residents learning how stormwater happens during the festival

Residents learning how stormwater happens during the festival

 
Frank Dawson, Watershed Restoration Division Chief, planting the final aster with an area resident.

Frank Dawson, Watershed Restoration Division Chief, planting the final aster with an area resident.

 
Everyone celebrating the "official" opening of the bioretention

Everyone celebrating the “official” opening of the bioretention

 
Sarah Morse, Little Falls Watershed Alliance Executive Director, checking out the new Bioretention sign

Sarah Morse, Little Falls Watershed Alliance Executive Director, checking out the new Bioretention sign

 
The ribbon cutting

The ribbon cutting

 
The Little Falls bioretention celebration

The Little Falls bioretention celebration

 

A Focus on Growth: Newport Mill Middle School’s Bioretention Garden

A Focus on Growth: Newport Mill Middle School’s Bioretention Garden
Have you noticed how plants can look very different at different times?

This can be particularly noticeable at your own home as you await the first bloom of your favorite flowers. Perhaps a gorgeous azalea or the sweet smell of a fragrant lilac in Spring, or again in Autumn when the leaves take on a myriad of vibrant colors.

Similar to your home garden, bioretention gardens also go through seasonal changes. A great example is the new bioretention garden that the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) constructed at Newport Mill Middle School. It is one of four Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) green infrastructure improvements constructed during summer 2017.

Landscape architects designed the landscape plan for the bioretention garden with native plants known to thrive in both wet and dry conditions, and to flower in different seasons, including:
  • blue flag iris – Spring flowers. Lavender-blue flowers in late spring and attractive sword-shaped foliage during the growing season.
  • butterfly milkweed – Summer flowers. Bright orange flowers in late spring and early summer, which as the name indicates attracts pollinators.
  • black eyed susan – Summer flowers. Golden flowers with dark centers blooming from summer to early fall, with basal foliage persisting into winter.
  • Fireworks’ goldenrod – Summer flowers. Cascades of yellow flowers in the fall, which combines great with asters. Dense basal foliage.
  • ‘Hummingbird’ summersweet – Summer flowers. Shrub with fragrant white flower spikes in summer which attract pollinators. Foliage turns yellow in fall.
  • New England asters – Late Summer/Early fall flowers. Purple to violet flowers in the fall. Combines well with goldenrod.
  • ‘Shenandoah’ red switchgrass – Elegant foliage provides contrast with other plants, turns reddish in the fall, and provides structural interest in the winter.
  • ‘Jim Dandy’ and ‘Red Sprite’ winterberry – Winter berries. The male Jim Dandy pollinates the female Red Sprite resulting in bright red berries from fall to winter. Both shrubs have yellowish fall foliage.
  • ‘Nordic’ inkberry – Keeps leaves year-round. Shrub with neat evergreen foliage, providing year round interest and a backdrop for other plantings.
All in all, more than 1,700 shrubs, perennials, and ornamental grasses were planted! Amazing, right?

 
Spring 2017 before construction – an unused turf area perfect to treat stormwater runoff from the school parking lot

Spring 2017 before Construction –an unused turf area is a perfect location for a bioretention facility to treat stormwater runoff from the school parking lot

Track the Seasonal Change of a Bioretention

Since this is the first full growing season for the bioretention garden, the plant roots will be growing and helping the plants to become established new residents of the garden. By next year, we expect the plants to be more lush and fill in the garden. We hope you follow them along as they grow.

DEP’s staff will be following the garden’ progress to ensure the plants survive and are replaced as necessary under the contractor’s warranty. We’ll also be following this bioretention garden to see how it grows and changes each season. We’ll keep you updated on the growth.

 
Summer 2017 – construction of the bioretention garden to improve stormwater runoff in Rock Creek, which flows into the Potomac River.

Summer 2017 – construction of the bioretention garden to improve stormwater runoff in Rock Creek, which flows into the Potomac River.

  Let us know if you have any questions! Also, stay tuned for two more MCPS green infrastructure improvements under construction this coming summer at Olney Elementary and Sherwood Elementary!

For more information on how the Newport Mill Middle School bioretention garden works to improve water quality, check out our blog with the school’s Green Team from Dec 2017.  
October 2017 - A new bioretention garden being planted!

October 2017 – A new bioretention garden being planted!

 
DEP also planted trees to improve shade for students.

DEP also planted trees to improve shade for students.

 
Stay tuned for updates on how the plants grow through the seasons!

Stay tuned for updates on how the plants grow through the seasons!

 

Civic engagement opportunity: join the County’s Water Quality Advisory Group!

Civic engagement opportunity: join the County’s Water Quality Advisory Group!
On May 11th, County Executive Ike Leggett announced that the County is seeking applicants for the Water Quality Advisory Group. The Montgomery County Water Quality Advisory Group (WQAG) provides recommendations to the County Executive and the County Council on water quality management goals and policies, program priorities, and funding. WQAG’s mission is to recommend programs, policies and priorities that protect, maintain, and restore the biological, chemical and physical integrity of county streams, rivers, wetlands, groundwater, lakes, and other water resources. Recommendations from WQAG are considered in shaping the County’s programmatic direction of water resource management. This group often provides input by transmitting letters and an annual report. It includes 15 resident members and 3 non-voting agency members. The group meets monthly, typically second Monday of each month, with occasional adjustments for holidays. To learn more about the history and membership of the WQAG, check out this page on the Department of Environmental Protection’s website. You can apply for the WGAG vacancy online: www.montgomerycountymd.gov/boards/index.html. Please note, applications are due by June 1, 2018.  

Hollywood Branch: A neighborhood stream restored

Hollywood Branch: A neighborhood stream restored
Located on the east side of Colesville, Hollywood Branch is a tributary in the greater Paint Branch Watershed. From 2008 to 2015, more than 4,400 feet of stream were restored by the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The cooperative restoration process included input from landowners, Montgomery County Parks (M-NCPPC), and other stakeholders.  

What caused Hollywood Branch’s poor water quality?

Much of the development in the Hollywood Branch watershed occurred before today’s stormwater management regulations were in place. In older neighborhoods, stormwater runs off roofs, driveways, and roads into storm drains and directly into streams, sometimes carrying trash, oils or pollutants. The runoff also moves rapidly over paved surfaces, causing streams to have higher flow during storms. These high flows can alter the natural stability of the stream, causing erosion and instability, poor water quality, and damage to valuable habitat for fish and other organisms.
Erosion on Hollywood Branch

Erosion Complaint: DEP Watershed Planners are routinely called out on erosion complaints such as this one on Hollywood Branch in 2005. The County considers residents’ concerns during both project selection and design.

  Hollywood Branch Stream Restoration was identified as a priority project in the 2006 Lower Paint Branch Watershed Study. Watershed Planners are assigned to restoration projects like Hollywood Branch to ensure that resident input is incorporated during the design and construction process.
Pre-Restoration photo

Pre-Restoration: Downstream scour, or erosion, on M-NCPPC walking path bridge. Following increased development in the watershed, the opening under the original bridge was no longer large enough to carry stream flow during heavy rain storms. Water would overtop the banks and flow around the bridge, causing erosion and damage to the asphalt pathway and threatening the bridge structure.

 
Post restoration bridge

Post-Restoration: A new bridge was installed by Montgomery Parks in coordination with the restoration project. The new, longer span allows Hollywood Branch to stay within its banks, even when running high.

 
Pre-Restoration Stream

Pre-Restoration: Water moves fastest around the outside bend of a meander (at left, above). The faster the water, the more erosion. An unstable stream, like pre-restoration Hollywood Branch, will continue to erode into and under the root zone on the outside bends of meanders, exposing and undermining tree roots and eventually causing otherwise healthy trees to fall into the stream. The erosive condition seen here on the outside of the meander is known as a “cut bank.”

 
Pre-Restoration of stream

Pre-Restoration: Water moves slowest on the inside bend of a meander, which allows sediment to settle out and change the shape of the stream channel. This can be seen in the sandy area at center, above. The lack of vegetation here indicates that this was a relatively recent change to the stream. This feature is known as a “point bar.” Increases over a short period of time in both point bar deposition and cut bank erosion can indicate an unstable stream.

 
Pre-Restoration of the Hollywood Branch

Pre-Restoration: The stream undermined the root zone of this tree, causing it to fall into the bed of the stream and damage a homeowner’s existing fence.

 

Restoration: A Natural Approach

DEP used a natural systems approach to the restoration at Hollywood Branch with the goal of using the stream’s own natural hydrological processes to establish a stable and self-maintaining channel. The project stabilized bank erosion, improved the stream’s ability to access its floodplain during storms, and enhanced habitat for aquatic organisms. The design emphasized the use of natural materials, including logs, boulders, and live plantings. Hollywood Branch runs through private backyards and Montgomery Parks property. DEP Watershed Planners ensured landowner input was incorporated throughout the design process and easements were obtained for private property prior to construction.  
During construction of the stream

During Construction: An in-stream “J-hook” structure. J-hooks provide valuable pool habitat while helping to direct stream flow towards the center of the channel, causing less erosion to stream banks. The hose at the top of the photo carries stream flow around the work area during construction, minimizing the erosion of bare sediment in the work area.

 
Post-restoration of the Hollywood Branch

Post-Restoration: J-hook in stream structures help create riffle and pool habitats for fish and other creatures. A mixture of flow and depth provide a variety of habitat. Pools provide a calm refuge for fish and mollusks. The rocky bottom of the riffle habitat supports a variety of macroinvertebrates (bugs) that provide food for fish and larger organisms. The agitation of the water over the rocks provides the stream much needed dissolved oxygen to support life.

 
Post-restoration image of the Hollywood Branch

Post Restoration: Pool habitat with “Rock Toe Protection” at right. Rock toe protection helps protect the streambank from the erosive forces found on the outside bends of meanders.

 
Map from public meeting

Public Meeting: DEP holds public meetings to present proposed engineering designs to the public for input during various stages in the design process. This poster depicts the Hollywood Branch restoration design near the M-NCPPC walking path bridge crossing. The J-hook structures mentioned above can be seen on the design.

 
Mid-construction image of the Hollywood Branch

During Construction: Banks are graded to reconnect the stream to its floodplain, helping to dissipate erosive energy and create channel stability. Erosion control matting is installed to cover the bare soil until vegetation can take root. Note the hose running through the center of the stream valley pumping stream flow around the active construction site.

 
Hollywood Branch community walk

Stream Walk: DEP hosts stream walks to discuss the proposed designs in the field. The walks allow residents to better visualize the design. Stream walks were also held during the construction phase of the Hollywood Branch project.

 
Tree plantings along Hollywood Branch

Tree plantings: After construction is complete, landscapers plant native trees and shrubs along the stream banks and valley. The deep roots of these native plants help hold together the soil along the stream banks, preventing erosion and sediment transfer downstream.

 

Hollywood Branch: Before and After Restoration

Pre-restoration – September 2011

Pre-restoration – September 2011

Post-restoration picture in October 2016

Post restoration – October 2016
The stream channel has been widened, boulder habitat installed, and banks graded to allow the stream to access its floodplain.


Pre Restoration – August 2011

Pre Restoration – August 2011

Post restoration – March 2018

Post restoration – March 2018

The curve of the meander here has been made less severe. Banks have been graded to reconnect the stream to its floodplain and establish a “floodplain bench.” The floodplain bench is the lower area between the immediate stream bank and the higher banks on the far sides of the photo above. When the stream overtops its banks during a storm, water spreads out over the floodplain bench, slowing it down and minimizing erosion. The high banks keep high flows from entering yards.
Pre-restoration – August 2011

Pre-restoration – August 2011

Post restoration – December 2014

Post restoration – December 2014
The eroding meander was graded back to allow the stream to access its floodplain. Boulders were added to provide habitat and bank protection. Native plants were added to further stabilize the banks.


Pre-restoration – November 2006

Pre-restoration – November 2006

Post Restoration – December 2014

Post Restoration – December 2014

This side channel to Hollywood Branch was rerouted away from the bridge approach. The bank was graded and vegetation added for stability. The twigs sticking up along the bank are “live stakes.” Planted during the dormant season, these cuttings begin to grow and take root in spring. Black Willow and Silky Dogwood were two species planted at Hollywood Branch.
Pre-restoration – April 2008

Pre-restoration – April 2008

Post Restoration – March 2018

Post Restoration – March 2018
The severe meander here has been lessened at the upstream approach to the walking path bridge. J-hook in stream structures provide stability and habitat


Pre-restoration – April 2008

Pre-restoration – April 2008

Post Restoration – March 2018

Post Restoration – March 2018
Pool habitat looking downstream from the walking path bridge. Boulder protection and native plantings provide stability to the previously eroded outside bend of this meander.


Pre-restoration – April 2008

Pre-restoration – April 2008

Post Restoration – March 2018

Post Restoration – March 2018
The pre-restoration stream rerouted itself around these fallen trees causing bank erosion and instability. The original channel shape was restored. In stream j-hook structures provide channel stability and habitat. Vegetation provided added bank protection.

Restoration Highlight: Valley Park Stormwater Pond. After 32 years, Damascus’s Valley Park Pond receives a face lift!

Restoration Highlight: Valley Park Stormwater Pond.  After 32 years, Damascus’s Valley Park Pond receives a face lift!
The year was 1984, and Damascus, like much of the County was in the midst of a growth spurt. As new residential and commercial buildings in and around the Town Center were being constructed, the County realized that there was a need to control the stormwater runoff and pollution created by all the new development. In response, the Valley Park Pond was built. The pond is referred to as a regional pond because it manages stormwater runoff from a large area, a total of 227 acres, 74 acres (32%) of which consists of impervious surfaces, such as roads, rooftops and parking lots. The pond sits on Magruder Branch, the northernmost tributary of Great Seneca Creek. It was originally designed to capture the intense, uncontrolled flows coming from Damascus and release them into Magruder Branch at a slower rate. It also had a small, permanent wet pool. However, by today’s standards, the pond was not providing nearly enough water quality treatment or doing enough to protect Magruder Branch from damage caused by the most frequently-occurring storms. And then 30 years passed. Over the course of the past three decades, sediment build-up in the pond reduced its water storage capacity and decreased the pond’s ability to protect waterways.  Uncontrolled runoff upstream has led to stream erosion and sediment deposition.  Additionally, the riser structure, which regulates the water level and the rate of water flow from the pond, was outdated and in poor condition.  Even the pond drain valve was completely rusted shut, making it inoperable.  

A Needed Upgrade

All the issues with the pond led DEP to make fixing the Valley Park Pond a top priority.  The following photos highlight Improvements that DEP made on the Valley Park Pond, which were completed in June 2017:  
Valley Park Pond map

Valley Park Pond Drainage Area: During storms, water from the shaded area flows into Valley Park Pond.

 
Valley Park Pond - Before Improvements

Valley Park Pond: Before Improvements: Pond area is reduced to approximately 1/3 of its original size due to sediment deposition, which reduced the water storage capacity.

 
Public Meeting: DEP staff meet with residents to explain the project and address their questions and concerns.

Public Meeting: DEP staff meet with residents to explain the project and address their questions and concerns.

 
Sediment Removal

Sediment Removal: 3,177 cubic yards of sediment were removed which is equivalent to approximately 265 dump truck loads! The black pipe in the background was used to divert clean stream flow through the work area.

 
Pond Infrastructure Improvements

Pond Infrastructure Improvements: Concrete pour for new low flow and pond drain headwall

 
Riser Improvements

Riser Improvements: Workers install rebar and forms for riser expansion. The riser structure was rebuilt so the pond meets all County and State dam safety and performance standards, such as releasing water at a slower rate after storms for added protection against stream channel erosion downstream in Magruder Branch.

 
New Riser Structure

New Riser Structure: Sod being placed on pond embankment and around the new riser. A clay liner was added to the embankment for added protection against water leaks.

 
Landscape Planting

Landscape Planting: workers planting wetland perennials, shrubs and trees around the pond. Wetland plants were added around the perimeter of the pond to enhance the ecology in the pond

 
Newly Completed Pond

Newly Completed Pond: New maintenance access installed, trees, shrubs and wildflower meadow planted and doing well. The wildflower meadow, on the left side of the pond provides habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.

 
Newly Completed Pond

Newly Completed Pond: Aquatic fringe plantings were installed and protected with temporary wildlife fencing for first year establishment period. The water release point was changed to the pond bottom to maintain cooler water temperature downstream in Magruder Branch. The new pond design raised the permanent wet pool elevation by six feet and significantly increased the wet pool volume to improve water quality in Magruder Branch.

  Since the pond was completed, residents living nearby have been expressing their appreciation and gratitude for the pond improvements.  One resident stated that the pond is a “thousand times better” than before the improvements and appreciates seeing water and wildlife like great blue herons outside her window, knowing that the pond is making a positive change in the health of Magruder Branch. To learn more about this project, visit the Valley Park Pond restoration page on the DEP website. To learn more about other projects throughout the County, take a look at the Watershed Restoration Page on DEP’s website, and to learn more about projects you can do on your own property, please visit the RainScapes page.

Join our team! DEP is looking for two interns

Join our team! DEP is looking for two interns
DEP is looking for two interns to join our team part-time. The positions are paid. Both internships will start as soon as possible.

Pet Waste Management Program – Division of Watershed Management Operations (1 position)

One of the key responsibilities of DEP is to develop and implement public outreach and educational programs, as well as stewardship strategies to foster sustainable behavior changes to improve our water quality. DEP is seeking an intern to provide support to multiple outreach programs in stormwater management outreach.  The position resides in the Outreach Section of the Division of Watershed Management Operations.

The intern will assist with the following outreach programs.

  1. The Pet Waste Management Program – the intern will perform research and determine the number of Homeowner Associations (HOA), Condominium Associations, and Apartment buildings that currently have a pet waste management program, and will assist with data tabulation from HOAs participating in the County’s programs.
  2. GreenFest, an annual festival for the community to explore their path to a greener life – the intern will provide assistance with strategy logistics and marketing the event.
 

The successful candidate must have the ability to work in a collaborative environment within a large organization with multiple priorities, and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

This position may be required to make field visits/attend meetings or perform work at locations outside the office.  The supervisor or designee will transport the intern to the locations.  Occasional weekend and/or evening work may be required.

Poop Fairy (A dog with fairy wings)  

Emergency Management Program – Director’s Office (1 position)

A key function of any Department is to ensure preparedness for times of emergency.  DEP is responsible for performing functions and providing leadership for management and removal of debris due to weather and other emergency related events. DEP is also responsible for ensuring 6 County owned dams are managed safely and do not represent a threat to human health or safety in times of severe weather.

DEP is seeking an intern to assist with developing a resource manual for use by DEP management who would be assigned to the County’s emergency operations center, if activated during an emergency.  The resource manual would contain information regarding the key DEP personnel who provide the emergency services, other DEP personnel who have skills that may be needed in times of emergency, and contact information to ensure easy access to the key personnel during the emergency.

The successful candidate must have the ability to work in a collaborative environment within a large organization with multiple priorities, and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Additional skills include ability to organize information to allow for easy access by decision makers.  This position requires the ability to work with managers and staff and implement direction.

 

How to Apply

This recruitment will establish an eligible list to fill current and future intern vacancies in the Department of Environmental Protection. The positions are temporary, part-time and do not include benefits.

The part-time hourly pay rate is $15.21 per hour.  Employees will work 15 to 20 hours per week.

To view the complete job announcement and to apply, please visit the OHR website and click on “Apply Now” and then click on “Search Jobs.”  The vacancy number is IRC30536.

A window into the restoration of a stream and pond system: the Bedfordshire Project

A window into the restoration of a stream and pond system: the Bedfordshire Project
Did you know that the Department of Environmental Protection restores streams and creeks throughout Montgomery County? The Restoration Team at DEP has been working on a project to restore a stream and retrofit a stormwater pond in the Bedfordshire neighborhood, to help reverse the effects of decades of largely uncontrolled runoff in the Kilgour Branch Stream Valley Park. Located in Potomac on a tributary to Watts Branch, over 1,000 feet of stream were restored in this project and a stormwater management pond at the end of the stream was completely rebuilt.  

The completed project, in February 2018.

 

Why did we choose Kilgour Branch for this project?

As is the case in many streams in Montgomery County, the Bedfordshire stream was actively eroding prior to this project, leading to three- to four-foot vertical eroded banks, sedimentation, and poor habitat for aquatic life.  The stormwater management pond lacked modern design features for improving water quality, controlling small and large storm flows, and ensuring dam safety.  

Pre-restoration, this stream’s banks were eroding rapidly.

 

The changes we made:

The restored stream now features a series of pools and cobble weirs that carry small flows, while allowing large flows to spread out on the floodplain within the park.  By reconnecting the stream to its floodplain, we are working to protect downstream waters by reducing the energy and velocity of the flow.  More nutrients and sediment are retained in the floodplain, recreating natural processes, instead of sending them downstream. The eroded channel is now stable, with enhanced habitat for fish and amphibians.  It also improves stream health by replenishing groundwater and increasing “baseflow,” which is the normal stream flow in between storms.  Native trees and other vegetation have been planted to add habitat and ecological diversity.

Newly planted sedges were installed to create an “aquatic fringe,” providing habitat near the upstream end of the pond. The cobble cascade transitioning from the stream is visible at top left.

  The restored stream flows into the stormwater pond, which provides water quality treatment in a newly-created “wet pool.”  The wet pool is a permanent area of ponded water, several feet deep, that retains water in between storms.  The rebuilt pond also has re-graded slopes and a safety bench to increase public safety, a fully rebuilt dam embankment, and a new riser (flow control structure) and outflow pipe.  In addition to removing pollutants from runoff, the pond now controls the outflow rate from small, frequently-occurring storms for the first time, helping to protect Kilgour Branch from further erosion. Now substantially complete after construction in 2016 and 2017, the stream and pond treat runoff from 265 acres (0.4 square miles).  The drainage area includes neighborhoods south of Glen Road, west of Falls Road, and northwest of the Falls Road Golf Course, and includes 70 acres of impervious surfaces such as roads, driveways, roofs, and parking lots.  By restoring natural functions and improving stormwater management, the Bedfordshire project helps to ensure clean, healthy streams in the local community and downstream to the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.

Pictured here: DEP’s Watershed Restoration Section at Bedfordshire, February 2018. Our job is to lead the planning and design of restoration projects throughout Montgomery County, resulting in cleaner water and healthier streams.

  To learn more about this restoration project, please visit the Bedfordshire Stormwater Pond and Stream Restoration page on the DEP website. To learn more about other projects throughout the County, take a look at the Watershed Restoration page on DEP’s website, and to learn more about projects you can do on your own property, please visit the RainScapes page.   We invite you to scroll through the photos below to see more images of the construction process and restoration progress!
The construction crew builds a cobble weir

The construction crew builds a cobble weir. These weirs help to keep the stream stable and carry normal stream flow. They also provide habitat for some of our smallest stream-dwellers, benthic macroinvertebrates.

 
 Restored stream in first season: Grass is starting to provide permanent stabilization. The restored stream both increases and improves the aquatic habitat in the park.

Restored stream in first season: Grass is starting to provide permanent stabilization. The restored stream both increases and improves the aquatic habitat in the park.

 

The riser takes shape: workers install the rebar and wooden forms for the new riser structure. The black corrugated pipe shown at top is used to divert flow from the work area.

 

Finishing the riser: The concrete floor is poured separately. The drain valve (bottom left) allows the pond to be emptied for maintenance. The low flow pipe (top left) conveys the flow from small storms.

 

Grading the stormwater pond: the riser is partially complete (left). The black diversion pipe conveys all flow from upstream into a temporary opening in the riser, keeping the work area dry.

 
The view six months later: The pond in February 2018, showing the permanent wet pool and new riser. Temporary fencing around the edge of the pond helps to make the pond less inviting to geese while the newly-planted vegetation is becoming established.

The view six months later: The pond in February 2018, showing the permanent wet pool and new riser. Temporary fencing around the edge of the pond helps to make the pond less inviting to geese while the newly-planted vegetation is becoming established.