Friday, April 21, 2017

Episode 365 (4-24-17): Where’s Stormwater Get Started? Ask a Middle Schooler!


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (3:53)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, images, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 4-21-17.


TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of April 24, 2017.

SOUND – ~4 sec

This week, we drop in on a group of Virginia middle-school students giving citizens a vocabulary test related to one of the Commonwealth’s most challenging water issues. Sound unbelievable? Well, just have a listen for about 35 seconds.

GUEST VOICES - ~35 sec

You’ve been listening to Christiansburg Middle School students who attended Stormwater Education Day on April 12, 2017.  The vocabulary list you heard included processes of the water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle; along with geographic features of watersheds, a term that people often interchange with drainage areas, drainage basins, or river basins.  Water cycle processes and watershed features are key elements in stormwater: when, where, and how much of it occurs.  Stormwater occurs when rainfall or other precipitation can’t seep—or infiltrate—into the ground, particularly when the precipitation lands on pavement or other impervious surfaces.  Stormwater runs off over the land surface into water bodies or into drains and pipes that eventually lead to water bodies.  During that runoff, stormwater can pick up various water pollutants, and high-volume stormwater can cause flooding and erosion.  Such impacts, and the laws and regulations implemented in response, have made stormwater-management a far-reaching water issue, affecting local governments, homeowners, and businesses all over Virginia.

Back in Christiansburg, students learning now about the water cycle, watersheds, potential contaminants, and the filtering potential of different materials will be the future idea-generators and decision-makers who’ll deal with this widespread and complicated issue.

Thanks to Christiansburg Middle School students, teachers, and volunteers for lending their voices to this episode.  And we close with some appropriate sounds for stormwater.

SOUND - ~12 sec – Rain and thunder

SHIP’S BELL

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463. Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close the show. In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The voices of sixth-grade students (and some adults) from Christiansburg Middle School in Christiansburg, Va., were recorded April 12, 2017, during Stormwater Education Day, held on the grounds of the Christiansburg/Montgomery County, Va., chapter of the Izaak Walton League.  Thanks to Patricia Colatosti of the Town of Christiansburg and to Patricia Gaudreau of the Montgomery County School Division for organizing Stormwater Education Day and for allowing Virginia Water Radio to participate.

The terms called out by the students were the following:
water cycle;
watersheds;
evaporation;
transpiration;
condensation;
precipitation;
rainfall intensity;
infiltration;
runoff;
groundwater;
surface water;
impervious surface;
divides;
drainage areas;
tributaries;
river basins;
the ocean.

The learning stations at the 2017 Stormwater Education Day were the following:
Montgomery County – groundwater model;
Skyline Soil and Water Conservation District, Christiansburg, Va. – runoff boxes;
Town of Christiansburg/Town of Blacksburg/Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering – stream table;
Virginia Cooperative Extension/Montgomery County Unit – pet waste and streams;
Virginia Cooperative Extension/Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering – groundwater models;
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation/Karst Program – karst, springs, and groundwater;
Virginia Tech Facilities – watershed model;
Virginia Tech Forestry Graduate Student Association – sand filters and stormwater;
Virginia Tech Learning Enhanced Watershed Assessment System (LEWAS) lab – runoff boxes;
Virginia Tech Museum of Geosciences Outreach – watershed model;
Virginia Water Resources Research Center/Virginia Water Radio – recording stations related to stormwater.

Click here
if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.

IMAGES

Learning stations on April 12, 2017, for Christiansburg Middle School’s Stormwater Education Day, at the grounds of the Christiansburg/Montgomery County, Va., chapter of the Izaak Walton League.
The water (or hydrologic) cycle. Diagram from the U.S. Geological Survey, “Water Science School/Water Cycle,” online at https://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle.html.

Virginia’s major watersheds (river basins). Map by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, accessed online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_and_water/wsheds.shtml.


EXTRA FACTS ABOUT STORMWATER


From the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), “Stormwater Management,” online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/StormwaterManagement.aspx.

“DEQ is the lead agency for developing and implementing statewide stormwater management and nonpoint source pollution control programs to protect the Commonwealth's water quality and quantity.  Stormwater runoff from streets, lawns, parking lots, construction sites, industrial facilities and other impervious surfaces occurs as a result of precipitation events (for example, rain water or melted snow).  The stormwater runoff may enter surface waters directly or through natural and constructed channel systems.  Activities occurring in developed and urban areas contaminate stormwater runoff with pollutants such as automobile oil, grease, metals, sediment, bacteria from animal waste, nutrients and pesticides, as well as deposits from airborne pollutants.  Unmanaged stormwater can cause erosion and flooding.   It also can carry excess nutrients, sediment and other contaminants into rivers and streams.  Properly managed stormwater can recharge groundwater and protect land and streams from erosion, flooding and pollutants.  As authorized under the State Water Control Law and the federal Clean Water Act, the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permitting program...includes stormwater discharges from: MS4s, construction activities, [and] industrial discharges.  ...MS4 is shorthand for a municipal separate storm sewer system. Publicly owned systems such as storm drains, pipes, ditches or swales that collect or move water to surface waters must obtain permit coverage and develop a stormwater management program. ...”

SOURCES

Used in Audio

Danielle Guerin, “Wherever You Are, Stormwater’s On Your Street” and “Stormwater Information Sources,” August Virginia Water Central Newsletter, August 2010 (pages 3-7), available online at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/49363.

King County, Washington, “Stormwater glossary of terms and abbreviations,” online at http://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/water-and-land/stormwater/glossary.aspx.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Science School, “The Water Cycle,” online at https://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle.html; and “The Water Cycle for Schools,” online at https://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle-kids.html.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “NPDES Stormwater Program,” online at https://www.epa.gov/npdes/npdes-stormwater-program.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, “Stormwater Management,” online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/StormwaterManagement.aspx.

For More Information about the Water Cycle, Watersheds, or Stormwater

Code of Virginia
, “Virginia Stormwater Management Act,” online via the Virginia Legislative Information System at http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacodefull/title62.1/chapter3.1/article2.3/.

College of William and Mary Department of Geology, “The Geology of Virginia/Hydrology,” online at http://geology.blogs.wm.edu/.

Radford University, “Virginia’s Rivers, online at http://www.radford.edu/jtso/GeologyofVirginia/VirginiasRivers/Drainage-1.html.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Surf Your Watershed,” online at http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/locate/index.cfm.  This site allows users to locate watersheds and watershed information across the United States.

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, “Virginia’s Major Watersheds,” online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_and_water/wsheds.shtml; and “Hydrologic Unit Geography,” online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_and_water/hu.shtml.  The latter site provides detailed information on how watersheds are designated, plus access to interactive maps of Virginia’s watersheds.

Virginia Water Resources Research Center, “Virginia Water Central News Grouper/Stormwater,” blog posts online at https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/category/stormwater/.

Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Virginia Water Central Newsletter, February 2000, “An Introduction to Urban Stormwater,” by Rich Wagner (pages 1-7); and “Divide and Confluence” (pages 8-11); available online at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/49316.  The two articles give basic introductions to stormwater and to watersheds, respectively.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the following subject categories: Rivers, Streams, and Other Water Bodies; Science; Weather.

The following episodes relate specifically the stormwater, watersheds, or the water cycle, or watersheds:
Stormwater: Episode 182, 10/7/13; Episode 338, 10/17/16;
Watersheds: Episode 156, 4/8/13, Episode 209, 4/14/14, Episode 251, 2/2/15;
Water cycle: Episode 191, 12/9/13, Episode 198, 1/27/14.

STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS

This episode may help with the following Virginia 2010 Science SOLs:

Grades K-6 Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change Theme
2.7 – Weather and seasonal changes affecting plants and animals.
3.9 – Water cycle, including sources of water, energy driving water cycle, water essential for living things, and water limitations and conservation.

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 - Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.

Grades K-6 Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems Theme
2.6 – identification of common storms and other weather phenomena.
4.6 – weather conditions, phenomena, and measurements.
5.7 – constant change of Earth’s surface (including weathering and erosion, and plate tectonics).

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
6.7 - natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; and water monitoring.

Grades K-6 Matter Theme
6.5 – properties and characteristics of water.
6.6 – Properties of air (including pressure, temperature, and humidity) and structure/dynamics of earth’s atmosphere, including weather topics.

Life Science Course
LS.6 - ecosystem interactions, including the water cycle, other cycles, and energy flow.
LS.11 - relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Earth Science Course
ES.8 - influences by geologic processes and the activities of humans on freshwater resources, including identification of groundwater and major watershed systems in Virginia.
ES.12 – weather and climate.

Biology Course
BIO.8 - dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2008 Social Studies SOLs:

Virginia Studies Course
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – government at the national level.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.8 – government at the local level.
CE.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.
WG.10 - cooperation among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.

Government Course
GOVT.7 - national government organization and powers.
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy process at local, state, and national levels.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2015 Social Studies SOLs, which become effective in the 2017-18 school year:

Virginia Studies Course
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – government at the national level.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.8 – government at the local level.
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.
WG.18 - cooperation among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.

Government Course
GOVT.7 – national government organization and powers.
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy process at local, state, and national levels.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.