Friday, February 26, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Wetland Studies & Solutions, Inc Presentation from 1-30-10
Wetland Studies & Solutions, Inc Stream Restoration Brochure
Virginia Tech Letter
In our situation in Hickory Cluster (shown on the Wetlands project map as part of the Colvin Run Watershed project), the erosion is also very advanced and is now threatening a sanitary (sewer) line which runs alongside the stream. Because of the threat to the sewer line, not doing anything is really not an option, therefore the issue is how to optimize a solution which
(i) preserves our natural area,
(ii) stops the erosion process, and
(iii) costs the cluster as little as possible.
RA and the Wetland Studies & Solutions people are aware of our concerns and have promised to work with us to ensure the best possible outcome which satisfies their technical requirements as well as our commitment to retaining the wooded areas in Hickory. Since the Wetlands project would also finance replacement of our bridge and repair of the paths along the stream, this is a great opportunity for us provided we can find a workable compromise on the tree removal issue. In my view, if we decline to participate in the RA/Wetlands restoration project (by not voting to approve the required environmental easement) we will forego the 100% financing of their project but will eventually be forced into a less-sophisticated repair scheme because of the sewer issue, with unknown costs to the cluster and no guarantee as to the aesthetic outcome (since many trees are now undercut and in danger of falling, and realignment of the sewer line will inevitably also require major earth moving work).
The Virginia Tech letter illustrates that this is a complex issue, but the technical approach RA and Wetlands are using is considered leading-edge in the field. The letter does not mention the mitigation bank which would finance the project, which is a unique opportunity for the cluster to tackle some long-standing issues at no cost to ourselves. A conventional utility engineering solution forced on us by Fairfax Water might be much less attractive, so I urge all of you to read the materials we have posted and come prepared when the next outreach meeting takes place.
HC Cluster Board President
We are currently preparing the preliminary stream restoration plan for Hickory Cluster. The restoration in Hickory Cluster is complicated by two factors: 1) The stream pattern is currently instable with several sharp curves. This places increased stress on the stream banks, furthering erosion. 2) There are several sanitary sewer lines located within or crossing the stream. The stream has even eroded enough to expose manholes. Because of these two factors, restoration in Hickory Cluster will involve smoothing the curves to create a stable stream pattern and pulling the stream away from exposed utilities as best as possible with a minimum of tree impacts. At this point, we do not know the number of trees that will be cut or which trees specifically will be removed. This information will be calculated once we finish the first version of the preliminary plan. Then we will arrange a public meeting with the Cluster to discuss the alternatives that are possible, including any specific tree impacts. We expect to be able to have an interactive discussion(s) on the design and these types of potential impacts. As soon as we are close to asking for a meeting - the project Reach engineer, Russ Dudley, will make sure that you are copied on the request so that we are sure to have you included in the process.
Mike Rolband, Wetland Studies & Solutions, Inc