What is a watershed? A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place.
Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes. They cross county, state, and national boundaries. There are 2,110 watersheds in the continental US. Our Middle River watershed serves Valley residents for agriculture, recreation, wastewater assimilation, water supply, and industry. Because this watershed is critical to human and economic needs, it’s vital that we keep it healthy.
Take some time to get outdoors
The Middle River watershed supports an array of recreational opportunities and wildlife. Good land use planning helps protect these treasures. Get involved with volunteer water monitoring.
Check soil quality
Have your soil tested before fertilizing your lawn. Too much of a good thing can be detrimental to nearby aquatic life! Excess nutrients run off into creeks, depleting oxygen and aquatic habitat.
Never dump hazardous chemicals onto the ground where they can seep into our groundwater. Recycle and dispose of these materials properly. Take care of those sinkholes.
Pump your septic system
If your home has a septic system, remember to schedule a pump-out every 3-5 years. Leaky septic systems can pollute the surrounding groundwater and wells.
Limit livestock access to streams
Fencing livestock away from streams and providing alternative water sources is healthier for them. These practices also keep bacteria and sediment out of our watershed and allow trees to grow along river banks.
Restore riparian buffers
Plant native trees and shrubs along your stream. These plants act as a wildlife corridor and also serve to soak up excess nutrients and sediment before they can pollute the waterway. Shade cools the water and increases dissolved oxygen levels.
Use best management practices
The Valley boasts rich farming land. Install BMPs on your farm to conserve and protect your soil and water. Both your livestock and water quality in general will be the beneficiaries. Call Headwaters Soil and Water Conservation District for assistance.
Practice water conservation
Avoid wasting precious water by fixing leaky faucets and taking shorter showers. Leaving a faucet running while brushing your teeth can waste 2 gallons a minute! Take short showers. An 8 minute shower uses 40 gallons of water.
Consider conservation landscaping
Think about what you plant and how you alter your property before digging begins. Use native vegetation that will hold soil in place and attract wildlife.