Stormwater Pollution Issue Remains Unresolved

What is the developers’ plan to address polluted stormwater runoff from Crystal Spring?

Stormwater pollution flowing to the South River
Diana Muller, former Riverkeeper, collects a water sample from a stormwater outfall into Crab Creek, a tributary to the South River.

Crystal Spring developers plan to destroy about 40 acres of the last remaining large stand of forest in the city. This will also destroy the best tool for natural filtration and water quality protection. How do they plan to keep their pledge that runoff will be cleaner after crossing through Crystal Spring with “100% storm water retained/treated on site including gray water recycling?”

To date, the developers have failed to deliver on their promise of a comprehensive stormwater management plan for the runoff that will drain directly into Crab Creek off the South River, which is already impaired and failing to meet Clean Water Act requirements due to runoff from other developments.

According to EPA Bay Program data, stormwater runoff from developed land is responsible for 76 percent of the sediment choking the South River, 60 percent of the phosphorus, and 42 percent of the nitrogen. Did you know nitrogen and phosphorus fuel the growth and toxicity of dinoflagellates, better known as the small organisms that cause flesh eating diseases in humans and dogs? These nutrients also cause the algal blooms that create dead zones leading to fish kills. Imagine how much more polluted runoff will flow into the South River without 40 acres of forest acting as a natural filtering system.

This issue must be addressed and no plan should proceed without an independent review by a stormwater engineer certifying to a no net increase of rate, volume, sediment, nutrients, or toxic chemicals from the site after a 20-year storm event.

One thought on “Stormwater Pollution Issue Remains Unresolved

  1. The current development plans for the Crystal Spring site are grossly over sized and environmentally destructive. Polluted stormwater already seriously impairs the water quality of Crab Creek and stripping 40 acres of mature forest and replacing it with a mammoth development will exacerbate these conditions.

    Despite repeated pledges to address this problem, the developers have failed to submit a satisfactory stormwater plan to keep 100% of stormwater on site or treat it and to not increase pollutants. This development is not a done deal and it is up to you to help us stop it.

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