The Tookany – Tacony Creek has a serious stormwater trash pollution problem. This update highlights several findings on the sources and extent of the problem.
- Where – shows several Tookany – Tacony Creek stormwater trash pollution sites
- Sources – shows role of both separate and combined sewer outfalls as well as overland flow discharges on Tookany – Tacony Creek trash pollution
- Rating Creek Trash Conditions – applies Rapid Trash Assessment (RTA) score to Mill Run Creek to show how this technique works
- Channel Roughness – shows how channel conditions affect creek trash buildup rate
- Types of creek trash – shows how floatable trash (plastic bottles) and neutral buoyancy trash (plastic bags, wrappers) behave differently in the Creek
- Shows how neutral buoyancy material may be passing through PWD’s trapped inlets
The most recent Tookany – Tacony Creek stormwater trash pollution update is available as a YouTube video below. (To Enlarge video to full screen – click right icon, menu bar at bottom of YouTube window)
Posted in Clean Waters, General, Green City Clean Water, Green Stormwater, Philadelphia Litter, Tacony Creek, Tacony Creek Park, Tookany Creek, Trash Tour, TTF
Tagged Cheltenham, Green City Clean Waters, Philadelphia litter, Philadelphia watersheds, stream trash, Tacony Creek Park, TTF Watershed
Plastic litter is killing sea life. This recent Raw Story tells the sad story of a “.. 4.5 tonne sperm whale that washed ashore in southern Spain died from ingesting large amounts of plastic sheets used in greenhouses on farms in the region…” (link)
Plastic Debris found in dead sperm whale
Plastic floats and can last for many years in the marine environment. That plastic soda bottle or piece of plastic that you drop may wind up in a fish or sea mammal. Please be responsible with your plastic waste.
The Tookany-Tacony-Frankford (TTF) Watershed includes parts of Abington, Cheltenham, Jenkintown and Rockledge in Montgomery County and Philadelphia. The Philadelphia boundary as well as the creek tributaries and Watershed boundary as overlays on this aerial photograph.
(Click image to enlarge)
So far, I have conducted 10 trash photo surveys to assess the litter/ creek trash problem in the TTF Watershed. This map shows the locations of the trash surveys completed to date and summarizes my watershed trash findings.
(Click image to enlarge)
You can access these trash surveys below:
Litter/illegal dumping is not just a Philadelphia problem, we are seeing it in Montgomery County, across the country and around the world. It is not just an aesthetic problem, it is a serious water pollution problem. It is time to treat it as the serious pollution problem that it is.
Posted in Clean Waters, General, Green City, Green City Clean Water, Green Stormwater, Illegal Dumping, Phila Parks & Recreation, Stormwater, Tacony Creek, Tacony Creek Park, Trash Tour, TTF
Tagged Green City Clean Waters, Illegal Dumping, Philadelphia litter, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Philadelphia watersheds, Short Dumping, stream trash, Tacony Creek Park, TTF Watershed
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) are regulated under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). This EPA web page provides overview information on what municipalities with separate storm sewers are required to do to comply with their permit conditions.
(Click image to go to EPA’s website)
Municiplalities with separate storm water sewer systems are required to:
- Apply for NPDES permit coverage
- Develop a stormwater management program which includes the six minimum control measures
- Implement the stormwater management program using appropriate stormwater management controls, or best management practices (BMPs)
- Develop measurable goals for the program
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
EPA’s Stormwater Phase II Rules establish 6 minimum control measures (MCM) that municipalities must include in their into their stormwater management program:
(Click link to see EPA Fact Sheet on MCM)
EPA and California have identified a number of potential pollutants “.. likely associated with specific municipal facilities”, including trash. EPA’s list identifies 17 municipal programs that are likely associated with “trash” pollution.
This EPA document provides guidance on evaluating the effectiveness of municipal stormwater programs.
Solving the TTF Creek trash problem will require enhanced municipal litter control, prevention of illegal dumping and MS4 Stormwater Rule compliance .
I’ll review EPA’s MS4 program requirements in the next few posts.
Posted in Clean Waters, General, Green City Clean Water, Green Stormwater, Litter, Philadelphia Litter, Stormwater, TTF
Tagged Green City Clean Waters, MS4, NPDES, Philadelphia watersheds, Tacony Creek Park, TTF Watershed
AXIS Philly – New Group in town (Link)
“AxisPhilly is a non-profit news and information organization whose mission is to educate and engage citizens on topics of public interest while empowering them with tools to participate in developing and implementing change.
AxisPhilly is incorporated as the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network Inc. Its initial funding was through a $2.4 million grant from the William Penn Foundation to Temple University’s Center for Public Interest Journalism at theSchool of Media and Communication.” Source: AXIS Philly About page
AXIS Philly has taken on 3 projects: Taxes, Open Government and Litter. Here’s an image of their Litter Page.
AxisPhilly Litter page
Looking forward to their updates. We need all the help we can get to tackle our street litter/ illegal dumping/ stream trash problem.
Posted in Green City, Green City Clean Water, Green Stormwater, Illegal Dumping, Litter, Media, Philadelphia Litter, Trash Tour
Tagged Green City Clean Waters, Illegal Dumping, Philadelphia litter, Short Dumping, stream trash
To help comply with the Anacostia River Trash Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), the Washington DC Department of Environment (DDOE) has installed two floating trash traps in the Anacostia Watershed (link).
Here is a short video showing the Bandalong trash trap in operation.
This in-stream device is effective in trapping floatable materials like plastic bottles, styrofoam cups and plastic bags floating on the water surface.
The DDOE contracts with non-profit organizations like Groundwork Anacostia and Earth Conservation Corp to have the trash baskets cleaned manually. Here’ a short video of Earth Conservation Corp participants leaning DDOE the trash trap.
DC’s in-stream trash trap approach could help right here in the TTF Watershed. It could reduce the trash load on Tacony Creek Park and provide a hands-on litter – stream trash learning opportunity for Philadelphia residents.
DC’s in-stream trap cleanup is much more efficient because than sending volunteers out to cleanup s a few times a year. Since the trash is trapped in a single basket rather than being spread over acres of streambank and floodplain, the cleanup effort is much more effective than the current TTF watershed cleanup efforts. For the same investment of volunteer effort, we could get a lot more trash with an in-stream trash trap.
The young ECC cleaners are both contributing to cleaning up the Anacostia River and learning about the consequences of litter/ illegal dumping. They will have a lot to tell their fiends about why they should not litter/ dump trash. This is both an educational training – outreach effort and a cleanup effort.
Here are links to 2 presentations on the DDOE’s in-stream trash trap efforts.
Posted in General, Green City Clean Water, Green Stormwater, Stormwater, Tacony Creek, Tacony Creek Park, TTF
Tagged Green City Clean Waters, stream trash, Tacony Creek, Tacony Creek Park, TTF Watershed
Lower Tookany Creek carries stream flow from nearly all of Cheltenham, 27% of Abington, 95 % of Jenkintown and 47% of Rockledge. The Tookany Creek name changes at the Philadelphia City line to Tacony Creek.
During rain storm events runoff carries street litter and debris into the Tookany Creek and its tributaries. Some of this stream trash Is deposited along on the Tookany – Tacony – Frankford Creek bed and banks; the rest Is carried to the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Here is a Google Map that shows the Tookany Creek , and its tributaries, including Rock Creek, Baeder Creek and Jenkintown Creek.
Tookany Creek and Tributaries
The following map shows the locations of the stream trash and street litter photos taken on 1/31/13.
Lower Tookany Creek Trash Tour – Photo Location Map
Photo 1 shows stream trash (plastic bottles, cups and cans) onhte west bank, near Johns St.
Moving upstream, flow from a storm sewer enters the Creek just downstream of the Cheltenham Presbyterian Church. Here is a photo of the storm sewer outfall. Extensive rash is evident just below teh outfall discharge.
Lower Tookany Creek – Storm Sewer Outfall Just Downstream of Cheltenham Presbyterian Church
Posted in Clean Waters, General, Green City Clean Water, Green Stormwater, Litter, Philadelphia Litter, Tacony Creek Park, Trash Tour, TTF
Tagged Green City Clean Waters, Philadelphia litter, Philadelphia watersheds, stream trash, Tacony Creek Park, TTF Watershed
Press this Link to view my 11/12/12 proposal for Tackling Tacony Creek Park Illegal Dumping and Stream Trash Problem.
Posted in General, Green City Clean Water, Green Stormwater, PENNDOT, Phila Parks & Recreation, Philadelphia Litter, Stormwater, Tacony Creek Park, TTF
Tagged Green City Clean Waters, Illegal Dumpsites, Litter, Philadelphia litter, Philadelphia watersheds, stream trash, Tacony Creek Park, TTF Watershed
Illegal dumping is a serious pollution problem in Philadelphia and in Tacony Creek Park . It hurts our environment and is incredibly depressing.
Here is a photo of dumping along Whitaker Ave as it crosses Tacony Creek. (Click image to enlarge)
This next photo shows trash in the Park right under the Whitaker Ave Bridge.
Here is a link to a PDF of my 10/22/12 survey of Tacony Creek Park Illegal Dumping. TCP_illegal_dumping
We are in the process of getting a Tacony Creek Park Stream Trash Initiative organized and underway. Please contact me if you would like to participate in this effort.