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Hampton Roads Regional Water Quality Monitoring Program

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Study Overview

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Study Overview

  Problem

Detailed information regarding urban stormwater sediment and nutrient loading rates within the Coastal Plain are lacking and a basic understanding of how these loads vary by land-use type has yet to be developed. This lack of locally relevant land-use loading rates for urban areas in the Coastal Plain represents a limitation for the calibration of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model in these areas. The development of more accurate Coastal Plain loading rates and basic understanding are critical to informed decision making regarding stormwater management, implementation of management practices, and compliance with assigned sediment and nutrient allocations from the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. This study will remedy the lack of urban loading information in the Coastal Plain area by quantifying these sediment and nutrient loads in the Hampton Roads Region.

  Objectives

Operate a water-resources monitoring network within the Coastal Plain to describe surface-water quantity and quality of urban stormwater in watersheds of varying land-use and density. The data collection is designed to address the following objectives:
1. Characterize sediment and nutrient loadings from the major types of urban land-uses in the Hampton Roads Region. Land-use types include high-density residential, single-family residential, and commercial/industrial
2. Compare the measured sediment and nutrient loads to Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model loadings and allocations to support improvement of the accuracy of the model in the Coastal Plain.

     Data Collection Approach

  The approach for satisfying the first objective includes operating twelve intensive water-resources monitoring stations - two in each of the six partner   jurisdictions. Each water-resources monitoring station includes a continuous-record (continuous record = data collected every 5 minutes) stream gage,   continuous-record water-quality monitor (measuring water temperature, specific conductance, and turbidity), and an automatic stream-water sampler   for the collection of stormflow samples. Water-quality sampling (for nutrients and suspended sediment) is conducted during stormflow events to support   the calculation of loads.