Restoring and Protecting Our Streams

The Department of Public Works undertakes a variety of projects to preserve, restore and protect our local streams and rivers.  Our goal is to improve the health and function of local streams and watersheds.  A watershed is any area of land that water flows across or through.  All these waters flow toward a major river.  In Prince William County, all of our streams and creeks flow to the Potomac River, then onto the Chesapeake Bay and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean.  Stream work achieves important benefits that:

  • prevent or minimize flooding
  • protect and preserve natural floodplains
  • protect and improve water quality
  • improve and maintain ecological functions
  • create and safeguard a healthy habitat for aquatic plants and animals
  • channel the flow of the stream to reduce impact on infrastructure, such as buildings, sewer/water lines, bridges, etc.

Projects reduce sedimentation, lower the level of nitrogen, phosphorus and other harmful nutrients that cause pollution, and reverse the degradation of the stream.  Watershed Studies and Assessments help staff identify streams that require restoration and enhancement, as well as select the appropriate water quality improvement techniques. 

These efforts benefit citizens today and in the future by restoring and preserving local water quality.  Prince William County has been recognized for its efforts to protect local waters, including the National Association of Counties 2010 Achievement Award and a high approval rating on the 2010 Citizen Survey.   

Here are before and after photos from our stream restoration project at Andrew Leitch Park in Woodbridge.  

Andrew Leitch before.jpg

 We also had great success in restoring Cow Branch in Woodbridge. 

Cow Branch before.jpg
Before                                                    After