Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sleepy Creek Stream Monitoring results from Burnt Mill Rd. Bridge 08-19-16

Level 3 Stream Survey results for Sleepy Creek near Burnt Mill Bridge August 19, 2016 8:30 am.

Monitors: Iliff, Fink, Oaks, Dean, Meadows

Latitude: 39-38-47  Longitude: 78-7-45

Ambient temp: 90 deg. and sunny

Water temp: 24 deg. C (75.2 F)

pH:7.5  Dissolved solids: 110 ppm

Habitat conditions: 183 Optimal (up five from last year)

Biological conditions: 81.6 Optimal (same)

There were 228 low tolerance benthic macroinvertebrates represented by 9 types, 239 ‘critters’ of 7 types in the medium tolerance category, and only one in the high tolerance category.

Click on our ‘Stream Monitoring’ category (to the right) to see stream monitoring results for other Sleepy Creek Locations this year.

Join Cacapon Institute on September 10 for a fun paddle trip!

  • Cacapon Institute’s 2nd Annual Potomac River Paddle Trip Come spend the day with Cacapon Institute as we paddle the Potomac River from Great Cacapon, WV to Hancock, MD. This is a free event.  Cacapon Institute will be renting canoes for those who do not have one, but there is a limited supply. CI will also be furnishing a catered lunch. Please register below and let us know what you need.
  • Cacapon Institute is able to make this possible because of the generosity of our members and supporters.  If you would like to support this event and CI, please consider a tax-deductible $50 donation. Donations of any size can be made by clicking here or by visiting our webpage and clicking on the link on the right.
  •  Please register by Wednesday, Sept. 7 at: Cacapon Institute
  • Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Trip Details
    Arrival Time:    9:00 a.m.Paddle Trip Details:    The paddle is a gentle ~10 mile journey on the Potomac River from Great Cacapon, WV, to Hancock, MD. Beginner paddlers are welcome! This paddle is free and open to the public (donations suggested). We will be in touch as plans develop regarding boat rentals.
  • Arrival Location:    Cacapon Institute’s office at: #10 Rock Ford Road, Great Cacapon, WV 25422
  • Paddle Date:    Saturday, September 10, 2016
  • Click on this link: Cacapon Institute for more information and to register at the Cacapon Institute site.

SCWA begins preliminary surveys for an ambitious stream bank restoration project

Ted Hogan surveying the stream bed

Here Engineer Ted Hogan surveys the Sleepy Creek  stream bed downstream from the bridge at Spriggs Rd.

SCWA began the preliminary steps necessary to apply for a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grant to restore natural stream flow and reduce stream bank erosion in Sleepy Creek. On June 1st SCWA members were met at the Spriggs Rd. bridge by engineer Ted Hogan from E.O. Restoration to view the site and get survey measurements of the stretch of stream in question. The natural flow of the stream has been thrown off by the footings of the 100 year old cement bridge, causing bank erosion which increases stream sediment and releases the nitrogen and phosphorous that was bound up in the soil. The sediment and nutrient loads end up in the Potomac river and Chesapeake bay, negatively affecting the plants and wildlife that live there. Every four feet, from above the banks on both sides, measurements were taken across the stream  to help get a cross-section of the stream bed depths. Longitudinal measurements were also made to calculate downstream slope. This data will be helpful in putting together a restoration design plan and give us a baseline for where the banks are at this point in time, so we can measure any future erosion. Applying for this NFWF grant has many stages, and this is just the beginning. We will keep you updated on the progress of this project.

Sleepy Creek member attends Choose Clean Water Conference

SCWA was represented by Jeff Iliff at the 7th Annual Choose Clean Water Conference in Annapolis MD on May 24th and 25th. This conference brings together experts from all around the Chesapeake Bay watershed to share the newest developments and information to help watershed and environmental organizations maximize their effectiveness. There were many informative workshops from advocacy and communication challenges to public health and environmental justice. The highlight was a field trip to an organic farm to observe best management practices aimed at avoiding chemical and sediment runoff such as building healthy soil using winter crops and strategic grazing for cows and sheep. Clagett farm is owned and run by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and is a functioning farm that is also an educational site available for school field trips to teach the next generation how ‘green farming’ works. There is no doubt that all conference attendees will bring a wealth of new information back to their local organizations. You can check out their website for more information.

Come visit our booth at the annual Plant Fair in downtown Berkeley Springs!

Maya rain garden demo '14

Maya Iliff demonstrates the effectiveness of rain gardens.

Come and visit our booth this Friday and Saturday for informative brochures, a rain garden demonstration, to enter our raffle, or just say hello. We’ll be at the annual plant fair in the middle of downtown Berkeley Springs in the State Park, Friday from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm and Saturday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. There will also be food and music!


You are invited to share your opinions at the May 12 public forum in Shepardstown

The League of Women Voters of Jefferson County and other local nonprofits, West Virginia Rivers Coalition (WVRC), water utilities, and state and local agencies will host a free public forum on how residents can get involved in drinking water protection, May 12, from 6:30–8:30pm, at the Clarion Hotel in Shepherdstown.

The event focuses on how Jefferson County residents and businesses can help shape “source water protection plans.” A law passed after the 2014 water crisis in Charleston requires most public water systems to submit a source water protection plan by July 1, 2016. Shepherdstown, Harpers Ferry, Charles Town, and some of the County’s community systems are preparing plans now.

The law also requires water utilities to involve the public in crafting the plans. The May 12 event in Shepherdstown is the one of four regional forums WVRC has organized to facilitate public participation. At the forum, county residents will learn about what goes into the plans and how to provide input on the plans. They will also learn how everyone can help utilities identify potential threats to drinking water.

Organizers stress that the forum is not a venue to voice complaints about water service and water bills. It’s an event to learn about water supply—before it enters an intake.

“The League of Women voters is excited to be a local host for this important process to ensure the public knows more about its drinking water supplies,” said Mary Sell, president of the Jefferson County league chapter.

“The water crisis of 2014 made people realize drinking water can’t be taken for granted,” said Angie Rosser, executive director of the WVRC. “Following the water crisis, a new law gives the public a voice in drinking water protection. This forum is an engaging way for people to learn how to get involved.”

Utilities working on protection plans are identifying potential sources of contamination for each utility’s “zone of critical concern,” the area alongside the stream in which the intake is located, as well as the stream’s tributaries, from which water flows downstream to the intake within five hours. Although the Charleston-area crisis was sparked by a leaking chemical storage tank, some of the largest threats to drinking water come from other sources. The WV Bureau for Public Health has said that railroad lines and highways pose the highest threats for sources of contamination.

The plans also require each utility to have a communications plan to reach customers quickly in the event of an emergency.

The forum features exhibits by local water utilities, agencies that work on water, and nonprofit organizations. The evening also includes “Drinking Water Jeopardy,” an interactive game based on the popular game show. A free booklet on how to be involved in drinking water protection will be given to event attendees.

Jefferson County public health officer Dr. David Didden will welcome participants to the forum, and each utility and the contractors working on their plans will answer questions. The event is free; refreshments will be provided.

Tree planting season is underway!

Come join us for a fun tree planting event!

Come join us for a fun tree planting event!

Free Rain Garden Webinar on Dec. 9 from 6:30 to 7:30

What: Rain Garden Webinar “Dirty Hands for Cleaner Streams: Rain Gardens 101

Where: On your computer!

When: Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Time: 6:30 – 7:30 PM

Cost: Free

Register: Please use the link below to register online

Questions? Contact: Molly Barkman,

It’s Raining Classrooms! Rain Gardens for Learning

Dirty Hands for Cleaner Streams: Rain Gardens 101


Thanks to the Chesapeake Bay Trust and National Fish & Wildlife Foundation this training is FREE!


Cacapon Institute is offering a one-hour webinar  to discuss rain gardens, their benefits, and the process of planning and installation. See real life examples from local schools in West Virginia and Maryland to inspire you to solve that mud puddle problem or soggy grass area on the playground while creating an outdoor classroom at your school!


All you need is an internet connection and a desire to learn. Register online!


Please share this information broadly with formal and non-formal educators interested in learning about rain gardens, installation, and functions as an outdoor classroom. If you have questions email Molly Barkman, Watershed Education Specialist,  at We have years of experience installing dozens of schoolyard rain gardens and cisterns with thousands of youth in MD, VA, and WV. Visit our Hands-On Projects Webpage to see some examples.



Form for Septic Repair Financial Assistance for Sleepy Creek residents


Landowner Name:_______________________________________ Phone Number: ____________________________ Mailing Address: __________________________________________________________________________________ Physical Address (if different):_______________________________________________________________________ Email Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________

In order to be eligible to receive assistance for septic repair under the Sleepy Creek 319 program, septic systems must be located within the Sleepy Creek watershed and deemed to be failing through an onsite sewage disposal system inspection by the Morgan County Health Department.

  1. Before completing this application:
    1. Contact Suzy Lucas at the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District at (304) 263-4376 ext. 3 to verify thatyou are located in the Sleepy Creek watershed.
    2. Contact the Morgan County Health Department at 304-258-1513 to schedule an onsite inspection with thesanitarian. This inspection MUST occur before applications can be considered for approval.
  2. Once your onsite inspection has been performed, please retain a copy of the “Onsite Sewage Disposal InspectionForm” from the sanitarian. Please provide a copy of this form to any contractors you request estimates from and

    attach a copy to this application form.

  3. Once the Morgan County Health Department has verified that your system is failing, you must attempt to receive3 written estimates for cost of repair. The landowner must request written estimates from 3 contractors and

    document their requests using this form.

  4. Contact your three chosen contractors and provide them with a copy of your “Onsite Sewage DisposalInspection Form” that you received from the health department. Contractors must provide estimate within 10 days of the landowner’s request for an estimate. If a contractor should fail to respond to landowners request within 10 days, they shall become ineligible to enter into a contract with The Eastern Panhandle Conservation District (EPCD) to perform repairs necessary on said landowner’s septic system.
  5. If you have already received your first estimate before beginning the application process for this program, the landowner must request that that contractor re-submit a dated estimate within the 10 day deadline noted above, in order for estimate to be accepted. Landowners must indicate the date they requested estimates from contractors and the date that they received estimates.
  6. Once this application is received it will go through an approval process. Upon approval, the EPCD can then enter into a contract with the landowner and the contractor with the lowest submitted estimate. You will be contacted regarding the status of your application by EPCD program personnel.

Homeowners are responsible for the first $500 of repair cost that may include Health Department fees, permits, and cost of obtaining 3 estimates for repair. After that, the EPCD will pay the contractor up to an additional $7,300 of repair costs. Homeowners are then responsible for any additional costs beyond the $7,300. The landowner will be provided information concerning a low interest on-site systems loan program. If the three (3) written estimates exceed the projected project cost estimate established by the program personnel, the landowner shall be required to seek three (3) new written estimates.

I the landowner understand and agree to these requirements. _________________________________Landowner Signature

Please call the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District with any questions at (304) 263-4376 ext. 3

Estimates for Septic Project

Estimate # 1

Contractor Name:

Contractor Address:

Contractor Phone Number:

Date landowner contacted this contractor & requested estimate:

Did contractor submit estimate? (Yes or No)

Date estimate received:

Total estimate amount:

If estimate was received, a copy of estimate MUST be attached

Septic Pumping Financial Assistance form for Sleepy Creek Residents

Important Notice: Only septic systems located within the Sleepy Creek Watershed are eligible for assistance.

Sleepy Creek Watershed Septic Pumping Application

Name(s) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Mailing Address______________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________ Location of Home if Different___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________

GPS coordinates (if known) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Phone: ___________________________________ Email: ____________________________________________________________ If you live in a Subdivision: Name:__________________________ Lot #:____________
Size of the existing septic (If known) _______________ Last date pumped (If known) _______________

Approximate distance to the nearest stream/water body___________________________

I understand that the submission of this application does not guarantee approval to participate in this program and that my application must first be reviewed and my location verified to be within the boundaries of the Sleepy Creek watershed. I understand that I am responsible for the upfront costs of pumping my septic system after I am approved to participate in the program. I will be reimbursed 50% up to $150.00 for a one time septic pumping and that the funds will be utilized for such. I release all parties from liability. I understand that a copy of this signed application will be given to the County Health Department. If the septic system is found to be out of compliance with state health code, I will be required to make needed repairs or replacement.

I also understand the timeline for approval and reimbursement under this program as follows:

Septic Pumping Program Timeline:

  1. Complete and mail your application to Eastern Panhandle Conservation District (EPCD).
  2. Your application will be reviewed for approval at the following EPCD board meeting (usually 3rd Wednesday of

    the month).

  3. You will be notified of the status of your application after the board meeting.
  4. If you are approved, you will receive an approval packet in the mail.
  5. Have your septic system pumped within 60 days after receiving your packet.
  6. Follow instructions provided in your approval packet and return all necessary forms to EPCD.
  7. Your invoice for reimbursement will be reviewed and approved at the following EPCD board meeting and you

    will receive your reimbursement check shortly thereafter.

Homeowner Signature____________________________________________ Date______________________ Homeowner Signature____________________________________________ Date______________________

Mail to: Eastern Panhandle Conservation District 151 Aikens Center Suite 2
Martinsburg, WV 25404
ATTN: SC Septic Pumping
Or Fax to: 304-263-4986 Or Email to:

Please direct questions to (304) 263-4376 or to the email listed above.


Circle one For Office Use Only

Approved Not Approved


Project Manager Signature_____________________________ Date: ____________________________________