Big Creek Watershed Volunteer Monitoring and Education Program: Focus on Wet Weather Sediment and Turbidity Levels
Groszmann, Glynn Forrest
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The project, a one-year study of sediment loads in the Big Creek watershed in north Fulton and Forsyth Counties, involved the collection of water samples during rain events when suspended sediment levels are at their highest. The goal of the project is to determine the actual magnitude of peak sediment loads that occur in this waterway as a result of rain events, and to show that this type of evaluation can be accomplished with simple, inexpensive equipment and non-technical personnel with limited training. Conditions within the watershed were evaluated to determine what factors might contribute to sediment loads, with a focus on land-use patterns and erosion and sediment control practices on construction sites. Data produced from analysis of water samples shows extremely high peak and average values of sediment loads for most of the rain events monitored, and observations of construction sites revealed a lack of effective erosion and sediment controls throughout the watershed.