The health of the waterways in Gaithersburg’s Lower Great Seneca Creek Watershed will be evaluated in under a yearlong study.
According to the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Great Seneca Creek is the largest watershed located entirely Montgomery County. Its headwaters begin at Hawkins Creamery Road southeast of Damascus, picking up drainage from highly populated areas in Gaithersburg and Germantown before flowing into the Potomac River.
Gaithersburg officials said Tuesday that the city will pay URS Corporation $94,752 to complete a study on the condition of the city’s streams and stormwater management facilities within two miles of the watershed.
Funding will come from the city’s water quality protection charge, according to civil engineer Becky Uebele.
The results are anticipated in summer 2014 and will be compared against an assessment completed in 2001-02. In an email to Patch, Uebele said:
“The overall health of the streams is consistent with the typical conditions found in highly urbanized areas such as the City of Gaithersburg. The [2001-02] study identified a number of stream sections that were healthy and it also identified a number of stream sections that were good candidates for restoration.”
In April, The Gazette reported that the Maryland Department of the Environment was revising the watershed permits it gives to cities such as Gaithersburg.
The city wants to clean up the watershed before the stricter state regulations were put into place, The Gazette reported.