Our team inspects and maintains a system of drains, pipes, culverts and ponds to ensure flood protection and proper drainage, as well as to reduce pollution runoff. We undertake stream restoration and reforestation projects to help protect and improve our local waterways. This ensures we comply with state and federal regulations to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac River and local streams. Staff also take steps to ensure county-owned and state regulated dams are safe and functioning properly to prevent flooding concerns.
Prince William County has taken steps to help protect people and property against flood concerns. The first step was to create Resource Protection Areas (RPA) and Resource Management Areas (RMA).
RPAs are areas along streams where floodplains exist. The County has several square miles of RPAs. Vegetative buffers are required within RPAs to help:
maximize infiltration, which reduces storm water runoff into streams and the potential for flash flooding
protect streams from development impact, which improves water quality
RMAs include floodplains, highly eroded soils and other sensitive areas. Our entire County is considered an RMA. Developers and builders working in an RMA are required to use best management practices, which are steps to minimize erosion, control runoff and prevent pollution. Many Prince William developers build storm water management facilities. These facilities incorporate the best management practices and help provide flood control.
Erosion and Sediment Control
Controlling erosion and sediment from land and site development projects safeguards local water quality and minimizes sediment and pollutants from entering our streams, the Potomac River, and, eventually, the Chesapeake Bay. It is also the law.
Builders and developers can find information about plan review, inspections and fees, as well as useful tips at the site development page.
Failure to provide and/or implement an erosion and sediment control plan, or failing to maintain controls throughout the project, can add substantial costs to your project and harm the environment. County Inspectors regularly inspect construction sites and land development projects to ensure compliance with local, state and federal laws.
Keep in mind that work can be stopped for non-compliance with an approved plan, and there can be costs to repair damage to adjacent properties.
Uncontrolled erosion and sediment runoff from construction activities is one of the leading causes of sediment entering our waterways. Conditions at a construction site that create the potential for erosion and sediment runoff include: Large bare soil areas exposed to rain and wind, increased volumes of runoff that accelerate soil erosion and sediment, and changes in surface water patterns that may adversely affect drainage systems, slope stability, and survival of existing or new vegetation.
Students used the storm water pond and clean up activity form to locate designated areas and record findings. See the Storm Water Pond & Clean up Activity form.
The Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District (PWSWCD or District) is focused on protecting and enhancing our water and soil resources by providing leadership in the conservation of soil, water, and related resources to all Prince William County citizens through technical assistance, information, and education.
History on Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Across the United States, nearly 3000 conservation districts – almost one in every county-are helping local people to conserve land, water, forests, wildlife and related natural resources. Conservation Districts were formed in the 1930’s in response to the aftermath of the Dust Bowl.
Known in various parts of the country as “soil and water conservation districts,” “resource conservation districts,” “natural resource districts,” “land conservation committees” and similar names, they share a single mission: to coordinate assistance from all available sources – public and private, local, state, and federal – in an effort to develop locally driven solutions to natural resource concerns.
More than 15,000 volunteers serve in elected or appointed positions on conservation districts’ governing boards. They work directly with more than 2.3 million cooperating land managers nationwide, and their efforts touch more than 778 million acres of private land.
For more information on conservation districts, visit the National Association of Conservation Districts.
Storm drain labeling is possible on any storm drain in Prince William County. Groups or individuals receive training and education, apply labels, and distribute educational information to the surrounding community. Labeling usually takes about 2 – 3 hours including pre and post-activities.