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Welcome to "The Source" - Fall 2011 Newsletter

the source newsletter

In This Edition

:: Peters Brook Rain Barrel Rebate Program
:: Lockatong and Wickecheoke Stormwater Monitoring
:: Girl Scouts Install Rain Garden in Farmingdale
:: Storm Damage Provides Rare Canal Opportunit
y
:: Meet our Watershed Ambassador: Lola

Welcome to "The Source," the NJWSA Watershed Protection Programs E-Newsletter. Watershed Protection is a coordinated framework for implementing prioritized and integrated water quality protection and restoration strategies driven by environmental objectives. In this newsletter we highlight information on our efforts to effectively protect against the introduction of contamination to the water supply of the Raritan Basin and the Manasquan Watershed. Not only do our programs protect water quality; they also help to raise community awareness of the risks of drinking water contamination and provide information and practical strategies for stakeholder groups to implement for the protection of their drinking water sources. We hope you find the articles interesting and helpful.


Peters Brook Rain Barrel Rebate Program

Rain BarrelNJWSA and the Regional Center Partnership of Somerset County began offering rebates on rain barrels installed at residences within the Peters Brook Watershed this summer. Rain barrels are on-site rainwater collection systems. Rainwater can be collected as a valuable resource for lawn and garden watering, as well as retained to reduce peak stormwater runoff volumes. The Peters Brook is a highly developed watershed that covers parts of Somerville, Bridgewater, and Raritan, with approximately 6,000 homes, resulting in approximately 30% of the land being covered by pavement, rooftops, and other impervious surfaces. The NJWSA is interested in demonstrating a reduction in peak stormwater runoff volumes for the annual average storm by diverting rooftop runoff to rain barrels in the Peters Brook Watershed.

Last summer, the NJWSA and Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program held four neighborhood based Build-A-Rain-Barrel workshops within the Peters Brook Watershed. The workshops generated significant interest in rain barrels and increased awareness of stormwater issues in these three communities. rain barrelThis rebate program, which stems from the success and feedback of those workshops, will serve as a pilot program in order to develop education and outreach for stormwater projects in the Peters Brook and other urban settings.

In order to be eligible, rain barrels must meet specific criteria, such as minimum capacity, overflow, and spigot location. The pilot program will run until July 2012. To date, this program has funded nearly $800 in rebates.

Learn more about the rebate program.
Read more about the Peters Brook Watershed.

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Lockatong and Wickecheoke Stormwater Monitoring

lockatong and wichechoeke creek watershedIn 2010, NJWSA's Watershed Protection Programs Division was awarded Federal Clean Water Act Section 319(h) grant funding from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to manage the implementation of innovative stormwater controls on public park land and roadside drainage ditches within the Lockatong and Wickecheoke Creek Watersheds. These are the largest watersheds contributing flow to the D&R Canal other than the Delaware River. The projects were recommended in the recently completed "Lockatong and Wickecheoke Creek Watersheds Restoration and Protection Plan" to demonstrate techniques that reduce rainfall runoff volume and the associated contaminants. Project sites selected for stormwater controls are Kingwood Township Park and four roadside drainage locations, one each in Raritan, Franklin, Kingwood, and Delaware Townships, Hunterdon County. The stormwater remediation projects will demonstrate innovated management techniques for reducing stormwater impacts and increasing sustainable uses of the natural resource. All of the runoff-control designs will be applicable throughout these watersheds and to similar sites throughout the state.

To determine the effectiveness of the stormwater controls, assessments of stormwater runoff volume and quality are being conducted prior to, and following, the installations. lock wick samplerTo perform the assessments, six automated stormwater samplers were purchased by the Authority to collect runoff flow data and water samples during storm events at each of the project sites. Four units were installed this year--two at Kingwood Park, and one each in Raritan and Delaware Townships. Each sampler unit is programmed to collect up to 14 samples during a runoff event. Individual samples are collected at selected pre-programmed water depths, representing water quality snapshots along the runoff hydrograph.

samplerFollowing one year of sampling and assessing the pre-best management practice conditions, the samplers and housing structures will be removed, installation will occur and post installation sampling and assessment will begin. The NJWSA anticipates implementation of the best management practices will begin in 2012.

Learn more about this automatic stormwater monitoring program.
Read more about the Lockatong & Wickecheoke Creek Watersheds Restoration and Protection Plan.

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Girl Scouts Install Rain Garden in Farmingdale

rain gardenIn late July, Cadette Girl Scout Troop 68 of Toms River installed a rain garden at the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore Program Activity Center in the Manasquan Watershed. A rain garden is a shallow depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses. It is located in your landscape to receive runoff from hard surfaces such as a roof, a sidewalk and a driveway. Rain gardens slow down the rush of water from these hard surfaces, holds the water for a short period of time and allows it to naturally infiltrate into the ground. NJWSA staff provided support for the Troop's Silver Award Project. The 550-square foot rain garden collects rain water from 1200 square feet of roof from the Program Activity Center. The Girl Scouts who completed and maintain the project designed the garden and chose native plants including Butterfly Milkweed, Turtlehead, Purple Coneflower, Cinnamon Fern, and Witchhazel to fill the rain garden and its berm. rain garden scoutsAdditional technical support was provided by Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Monmouth County. The Program Activity Center is located in Farmingdale, which is part of the Yellow Brook Watershed. The Yellow Brook is a major tributary to the NJWSA Manasquan River Water Supply System.

Read more about rain gardens.
See more pictures of this rain garden and planting.
Learn more about the Manasquan Watershed.

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Storm Damage Provides Rare Canal Opportunity

delaware and raritan canalThe recent storms of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee caused severe damage and several breaches along the banks of the Delaware and Raritan Canal. The NJWSA relies on the canal to transmit 100,000,000 gallons a day of drinking water to our customers. In order to begin repairs on the Canal, flows from Delaware River through Lambertville to Port Mercer were all but shut down for the first time in many years. With little to no water in this part of the canal, large sediment deposits at the mouths of the various infall structures were revealed. NJWSA Watershed Protection Program Division staff members took this opportunity to document problem areas.

Beginning at Prallsville Mills near Stockton, NJWSA staff traveled down the towpath, eyes fixed on the banks, looking for pipes, culverts, headwalls, and any other stormwater conveyance system draining into the canal. These infalls deposit not only water, but sediment as well into the canal. The sediment builds up and eventually must be dredged out so that the canal's capacity to transmit drinking water to over 1 million New Jersey residents is not impacted. Each infall that was spotted was photographed, its coordinates recorded through the use of a GPS unit, and comments on the severity of sediment deposited were noted.

canalOnce the data was collected, the photographs and notes were reviewed and prioritized 18 infalls based on relative sediment accumulation. This information was then presented to NJWSA's engineering department. By having this precise data, NJWSA can spot dredge problem areas with greater efficiency. This also alerts the Watershed Protection Programs Division to subwatershed areas where projects could be initiated to reduce the amount of sediment reaching the canal.

Read more about the Delaware & Raritan Canal.

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Meet our Watershed Ambassador: Lola

AmeriCorps LogoLola Bobrowski is the 2011-2012 AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassador for the Lower Raritan, South River, and Lawrence Brook Watershed (Watershed Management Area 9). She is a 2010 graduate of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey with a B.S. in Environmental Studies.

The Watershed Ambassadors are required to complete a variety of requirements over the course of their year of service in AmeriCorps. This includes presentations on environmental education, stream visual and biological assessments, setting up partnership projects, training volunteer stream monitors, and generating volunteerism within their host communities.

Read more about Lola.

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