Watershed in Perspective

Click on the pictures to understand the location of the watershed, septic tank locations, and stormwater outfalls.

Definition of a Watershed?

The term watershed describes an area of land that drains to the lowest point. The water moves through a network of drainage pathways, both underground and on the surface. In the Rock Creek Watershed the underground pathways are typically storm water drains and the natural movement of ground water that has seeped through the soil. Other terms used interchangeably with watershed include drainage basin or catchment basin.

Connectivity in the Watershed

Connectivity refers to the physical connection between tributaries and the river, between surface water and groundwater, and between wetlands and water. Because water moves downstream, any activity that affects the water quality, quantity, or rate of movement at one location can affect locations downstream. For this reason, everyone living or working within a watershed needs to cooperate to ensure good watershed conditions.

What about Rock Creek?

Rock Creek is a tidal creek on the Patapsco River in North Arundel County with a fairly small watershed which drains directly into the Patapasco river.

The tributaries of Rock Creek are principlly fed by stormwater drainage, which was built when the region was developed in the 1980s. The water is collected from houses, roads and parking lots and piped directly to the creek and its tributaries.

During rainstorms the polluted water is channeled at high speeds directly to our creeks which causes sediment and erosion problems. Unfortunately in addition to these issues the sewage systems were installed adjacent to the tributaries and within the critical area.

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