Restoration, Storm Water Management Retrofit, and Stream Monitoring Programs
Correction of existing problems is also an important component for the long-term viability of the Paint Branch watershed. In places where development occurred before present-day storm water regulations, the runoff from these areas typically drains directly into nearby streams. Uncontrolled runoff can result in significant damage to aquatic life, as well as erode stream banks and can significantly alter the characteristics of sensitive streams. While streams are dynamic systems, the runoff from rooftops, roads, and parking lots greatly accelerates the rate at which streams are impacted.
The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is working to stabilize stream banks, restore damaged areas, and retrofit storm water management facilities to control harmful runoff throughout the Paint Branch watershed. DEP has also teamed with the Army Corps of Engineers on some joint projects. The Gum Springs Parallel Pipe Project took storm water that drained directly into the sensitive lower Gum Springs tributary and piped it underground to cool it and discharge it further downstream into the larger Main Stem. A major stream bank stabilization and aquatic habitat restoration project was completed in the fall of 2001 between Fairland Road and the Route 29 crossing. Future DEP plans include storm water management retrofits in Good Hope and Gum Springs, and in-stream restoration in the Gum Springs tributary. DEP also conducts an extensive stream monitoring program that is essential for identifying problem areas and trends.