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Environmental Services
Streams and Rivers

 Protecting Streams and Rivers 

water.jpgPrince William County Department of Public Works encourages each and every one of us to take steps to protect and preserve our local streams and rivers. By safeguarding our waters, we are helping neighboring localities, the Chesapeake Bay and beyond.
There is a great deal you can do. For instance, remember to pick up after pets, collect and properly dispose of litter, capture and recycle motor oil and fertilize properly so excess fertilizer does not wash into the storm drain.  
Around your home:
Use wise and environmentally sound practices around your home.  You can use landscaping to help protect your soil and slow rain water from washing off your property with rain gardens and native plantings.

In your community, many groups are working together to help neighbors understand that storm drains along the streets flow to local streams and creeks and eventually to the Chesapeake Bay.  A number of volunteers are placing decals on the storm drains. Please remember only rain down the drain and do your part to limit pollutants, trash and contaminates from entering the storm drain.

In the Northern Virginia Region, we are working with our neighbors to protect streams and rivers. Learn more about regional efforts at the Northern Virginia Regional Commission water partners page.  
Around your business:
Please be sure to pick up litter around your property and to practice sound maintenance techniques to minimize your impact on the environment. Please remove salt and sand from your parking lot after snow storms, as well as clear debris and motor oil from your lot.
In your community:
  • Learn about the conditions of streams and environmentally sensitive areas in the County through the Stream Assessment Viewer. The viewer will answer such questions as:
    • Which stream reaches have been studied?
    • Where are the dump, erosion, obstruction, utility crossing, ditch crossing, buffer disturbance, and crossing sites located on the studied stream reaches? Pictures of these sites may be available.
    • What is the physical condition of a stream?
  • The Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors the Adopt-a-Stream Program. Volunteers pick up litter and plant trees along designated streams.
  • NEW PROGRAM!  Prince William Conservation Alliance Community Stream Stewards offers an opportunity for concerned citizens interested in preserving and improving water quality from Prince William County to the Chesapeake Bay.  Citizens can attend evening lectures and field tours to learn about the biology, dynamics and physical characteristics of streams, as well as discover ways to improve our local streams, protect our drinking water supply and preserve local waters for the future. For more details, please visit
  • The Department of Public Works sponsors planting and restoration projects along streams to help create buffers, safeguard stream banks, stabilize soil against erosion, and control run-off to protect water quality.  Volunteers will get wet and dirty.  If you are interested in volunteering, call Deb Oliver at 703-792-6819 for more details. Once the site is planted, volunteers will still be needed to check on the seedlings, and pick up any litter.
  • Please be sure to pick up litter. Keep a litter bag in your vehicle and use it.

We can all make a difference in the health and future of our streams. Please take a step today to preserve and protect our waters.  


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