Stormwater runoff is one of the most damaging sources of pollutants of our river. The Magothy River Association has started a project to inspect watershed construction sites on a regular basis.

As part of the grading permit process, Anne Arundel County has defined construction practices that help prevent runoff. Inspectors visit sites at least biweekly to determine whether runoff prevention requirements are being met and order corrective action when necessary. While we find that most contractors follow the requirements, things don’t always go as intended and we see uncorrected problems.

There is an ongoing state-wide volunteer effort that proactively engages contractors and inspectors to correct runoff situations. The MRA is emulating these efforts for the Magothy Watershed.

Several of our volunteers periodically visit identified construction sites and, from public property, look for problems. When an issue is identified the MRA will write a letter to the homeowner or contractor asking that the required measures be undertaken. This has been found statewide to be an effective and friendly way to get these issues resolved. If this measure doesn’t work we can contact the County or if need be, get involved legally. We have written a number of letters and in most all cases the contractors promptly fixed the problems that would cause runoff.

The Magothy River watershed is a large area and there is a lot of construction going on. We need more volunteers to perform site inspections. At this time we are looking for two additional members to help in this effort on the north side of the Magothy in ZIP Code 21122 and in part of Severna Park. If you are interested we provide instructions on what to look for and some sites to periodically visit that are convenient to your location. When you identify potential problems the MRA will take appropriate action.

This is not an overwhelming task. Here’s how a volunteer typically works. He or she is provided with about 10 addresses to look at — a mix of subdivision/commercial and single family sites. From our experience some of these would be completed projects not requiring additional visits. More of these sites may have not started construction yet, therefore not needing visits often. A few of these sites would be found to be well along, with grading completed – again not requiring further visits. Typically, from a list of 10 or so sites, only three might warrant periodic visits. Our goal is to inspect each of these sites once a week.

This is relatively straightforward work that can have a big payoff. Contact Randy Bruns at (410) 544-5571 or by email using the Email Us form to the right (or below on mobile) if you would like to learn more about this work and possibly help out.