The Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER) conducts three (3) types of water quality monitoring activities throughout the year to fulfill permit requirements. These monitoring projects evaluate and analyze the real-time chemical, physical, and biological aspects of a stream, as well as the overall watershed health following Maryland's Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) protocols.
Frederick County Stream Survey
Frederick County has conducted a county-wide study of the health of its watersheds from 2008 to present. The study focuses on analyzing the stream health of different streams within a specific watershed. Each stream is inspected and graded for a variety of parameters including the presence of stream bug species, the quality of the physical habitat, the area of streamside forest buffer, the severity of stream bank erosion, and the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in the streams based on a grab sample. Frederick County aims to use these surveys in order to identify potential opportunities for our Watershed Restoration Capital Improvement Projects.
Starting this Spring, OSER will begin our third round of county-wide stream surveys.
When Capital Improvement Projects have been funded, OSER is required to monitor restoration project goals by capturing existing conditions, pre-construction(typically a period of two (2) years), and comparing post-construction data for five (5) years after project completion. The foal is to see an improvement within the project limits based on the results of the comparison. These monitoring efforts assist the County in not only identifying when a project may need repairs but to also improve our overall future project designs. Based on the location and the proposed project, the project goals could be aimed at improving a variety of aspects starting with hydrology and moving up a hierarchal process to include: hydraulics, geomorphology, physiochemical, and/or biology.
Concentrated Long-Term Monitoring
Yearly water quality sampling is conducted in Urbana during storm events, and is a regulatory requirement directed by MDE. The existing conditions at Peter Pan Run are documented and evaluated during the development process in Urbana. In FY2018, fifteen (15) stormwater management ponds will be retrofitted within the Peter Pan Drainage area in order to better treat stormwater runoff and improve stream health. The goal of the long-term monitoring and retrofits will identify the impacts of urban development on a stream and observe the benefits of a large restoration project on overall watershed health.
To see your watershed's report card, view our most recent Restoration Report, read our most recent Long-Term Monitoring Report, visit our Publications and Resources page!