The high quality Cockeysville aquifer underlying much of the White Clay watershed provides well (and public) water to many homes. Unfortunately these water resources are showing stress from the growing population and suburban development. Over 75% of White Clay Creek is currently designated “impaired” (or polluted) by the states of PA and DE.
As rainwater washes across the land it carries sediment, nutrients, and chemicals from lawns, farms, roads and parking lots, directly into our streams. The increase in impervious surfaces (surfaces that don't allow water to penetrate) that accompanies development means that less water infiltrates into the ground. Consequently, more water – and the pollution carried with it - flows directly into streams during storms, increasing both flooding and pollution.
What can you do to protect streams?
- Plant native trees and shrubs along stream banks.
- Fence cows, horses and other livestock out of streams.
- Don’t mow up to the edge of a stream.
- Control soil erosion whenever you disturb the ground.
- Convert grass into native plant gardens or meadow
- Pick up and dispose of pet wastes properly.
- Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces and toward vegetated areas.
- Establish rain gardens that allow rainwater to slowly infiltrate into the ground and eventually recharge the groundwater.
- Use rain barrels to collect and store water for gardening.