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CLAYTON COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY'S HOLISTIC APPROACH TO STREAM IMPROVEMENT

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Clayton County Water Authority (CCWA) has embarked on an innovative three-phase stream restoration program (SRP) to restore streams in Clayton County, Georgia. The SRP originated as the result of CCWA's Watershed Assessment and Management Plan (WAMP) completed 2 years ago (CH2M HILL, 2001), which identified degraded conditions in Clayton County streams. In the Phase 1 study, over 50 miles of stream reaches were assessed to identify streams appropriate for restoration. Data collected during the pedestrian surveys included habitat quality, stream geomorphological characteristics, and inventories of infrastructure conditions that were degrading stream integrity. Results of Phase 1 studies demonstrated that active or severe stream bank erosion was occurring along nearly 62,700 linear feet of bank. About 70 percent of the channels were “U”-shaped, deeply entrenched, and classified as “G” or “F” using the Rosgen classification system (Rosgen, 1994).

As part of the Phase 2 studies, descriptive fact sheets and conceptual plans based on fluvial geomorphological techniques were completed for 26 projects in 8.5 miles of the Jesters Creek system. The CCWA will use the conceptual plans and fact sheets as the basis for preparing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Section 404 permit applications, establishing mitigation credits for CCWA capital improvement projects, and developing mitigation bank credits for future work by developers.

During Phase 3, natural fluvial geomorphological channel design methods were used to create approximately 2,400 feet of stable stream channel in East Jesters Creek. The Nationwide 27 permit was issued to CCWA based on conceptual plans from Phase 2. The restored and reshaped stable channel, with additional meander, was located within the floodplain and will replace the channelized and straightened reach that had been historically relocated along the base of a ridgeline. The project was designed to restore the stream segment based on the existing and anticipated future hydrologic conditions and includes riffle and pool habitats for aquatic species and other wildlife.

Through the SRP, CCWA intends to protect drinking water supplies, reduce erosion and sedimentation, improve water quality, and protect water resources for future generations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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