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What’s Your Watershed?

A watershed is the area of land that drains to a common stream or stream network.  Water can reach this stream network by filtering, draining, or seeping through the ground, marshes, lakes, or other streams.  This same water sustains plant and animal life and provides us with our drinking water.  Even if you do not live near a visible water source, you are still part of a watershed; therefore, it’s very important to practice good watershed stewardship.

Watersheds of Honey Brook Township

The boundaries of Honey Brook Township encompass two main watersheds:
– Two Log Run, which feeds into the West Branch – Brandywine Creek
– East Branch – Brandywine Creek
The Brandywine is a part of a larger network of streams, creeks, and rivers that empty into the Christina River as part of the Delaware River Basin.

and two minor ones:
– Conestoga Creek
– Pequea Creek
Both the Conestoga and Pequea Creeks are part of the larger network of streams, creeks, and rivers that empty into the Susquehanna River as part of the Chesapeake Bay Basin.

What is your watershed?  Click here to view the Watersheds Map of Chester County.

 

Impacts to the Watershed

There are a number of impacts which can impair a watershed, but rainwater runoff (or, storm water) is the greatest cause of impairment.  Rainwater hits homes, street and driveway pavement, buildings, and other impervious surfaces, and produces runoff that potentially contains pesticides, fertilizers, oils, salt, sediment, trash, and other accumulated pollutants.

Impervious surfaces–such as driveways, parking lots, and buildings–are those that do not allow water to seep into the ground to replenish the aquifers.  Soil compaction from human activity such as construction, grading, or other activity can also reduce the amount of water that infiltrates into the ground water supply.

When rain cannot seep into the ground during storms, it flows into natural streams or ponds or man made channels or basins.  The velocity of the water flowing over the ground and into these streams or channels can cause damage through the effect of streambank erosion.  Over time, such streams widen and straighten, eventually reducing their ability to slow the force of the water during a storm event and increasing the chances of flooding and property damage.

It is therefore extremely important to recognize that individual actions as well as larger ones can multiply the effect on water quality.  Eventually, all of Honey Brook Township’s runoff ends up in either the Delaware River or the Chesapeake Bay.

See the Stormwater and MS4 pages for more detailed information on ways to help protect and improve the health of watersheds.

 

Learn More About Watersheds

For more watershed education, visit the following pages on the Penn State Extension website:
Master Watershed Steward Program
Watershed Webinars

Click here for the Storm Water Activity Booklet for kids (and click here for the corresponding map).

 

Last update:  July 7, 2016.