Stream Restoration

The SRWC has concentrated it’s efforts on AMD; however, as more and more of these sites are treated, the SRWC has begun to focus on other water quality issues, including stream bank erosion.  Numerous residents have come to our meetings citing problems with stream bank erosion.  The first project the SRWC has addressed is the Carney Stream Bank Restoration Project (see below).  If you know of other areas with erosion problems, please contact us.

Carney Stream Bank Restoration Project

This project involved the restoration of over 200’ of severely eroding stream bank along Slippery Rock Creek. According to the property owners, between 50’ and 75’ of property had been lost since the installation of a new bridge over West Park Road. A combination of traditional and bioengineering techniques were used to reinforce the bank including grading, stone toe protection, livestakes, brushlayering, rootwad revetments, and rolled erosion control blankets.  To date, there have been no signs of erosion after two high flow events, including Superstorm Sandy.

Thanks to BioMost, Inc. for donating the extra time to complete this project!

Slippery Rock Campground Stream Bank Restoration Project

This project involved two separate phases to restore over 1400′ of stream bank along Slippery Rock Creek.  The first phase was constructed in 2014. Over the years, nearly 40feet of stream bank had been lost due to erosion along a 800′ area just upstream from their sewage treatment plant. This area was a grassy field that was mowed regularly.  Prior to initiating construction, a utility pole within the work area needed to be moved so that the stream bank could be regraded.  Due to the stream bank erosion issue, the utility pole had been previously moved in June 2011 to a location that was over 20 feet inland from the top of the bank.  The continuing extensive erosion, however, had created a situation where the pole was less than 5 feet away from the bank and in danger of toppling.  After several months of coordination between the campground and West Penn Power Company, the pole was moved again about 40 feet from the edge of the stream bank.  Best Management Practices (BMPs) included a variety of traditional and bioengineering techniques, including grading; stone, toe protection; rootwads; live-stakes; brush layering; and rolled, erosion control blankets.  Over 2700 willows (live-stakes) and 500 native, bareroot trees and shrubs were planted with the help of volunteers from Slippery Rock University Geography, Geology, and Environment Club.

Phase II of the stream bank restoration project occurred downstream of the sewer treatment plant and involved the restoration of over 600′ of stream bank.  Erosion had created a near vertical, undercut stream bank becoming dangerously close to nearby utility lines and trailers.  In the fall of 2019, Phase II was constructed.  Again, the BMPs included  grading; stone, toe protection; rootwads; live-stakes; brush layering; rolled, erosion control blankets, and for the first time, soil lifts.  Due to the steepness of the streambank, soils lifts were added to the techniques used at the project.  Soil lifts consist of soil wrapped in a turf reinforcment mattress and geogrid.  Brush layering is placed between the soils lifts, which will grow roots and hold the bank together.  The stream bank successfully survived the winter, which is generally the most critical time frame post-construction.  In the spring of 2020, over 1300 live stakes and over 250 bareroot, native trees and shrubs were planted.  Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the volunteer planting had to be cancelled, but thanks to friends and family of staff at BioMost, Inc., the job was completed.

A special thanks to Allegheny Mineral Corporation for their donation of rootwads for the Slippery Rock Campground Stream Bank Stabilization Projects!  A rootwad is a trunk of a dead tree with the roots of the trunk still attached, which is placed at the toe of the steam bank. The rootwad provides immediate stabilization by deflecting flows that can undercut banks.  The rootwad also provides excellent habitat for fish and other aquatic life.The quality of the rootwads was the highest we have had for any of our projects!

Phase I and II has reduced the amount of sediment washing into Slippery Rock Creek by about 9,000 cubic feet per year!