Surface Water Hydrology and Hydraulics - Watersheds, Illinois State Water Survey

Surface Water Hydrology and Hydraulics

Pike County

Lake Pittsfield (Illinois) National Nonpoint Pollution Monitoring Project—Influence of Innovative Best Management Practices on Sediment Delivery

Principal Investigators: William P. White, Don Roseboom

Project Staff: Denise Devotta, Tom Hill, Rob Hilsabeck, John Beardsley, Jon Rodsater, Long Duong

Sponsor: United States and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

Project Period: September 1992 - July 2006

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) National Nonpoint Source Monitoring Program was interested in determining the effectiveness of land management strategies in reducing watershed erosion, sediment transport and sediment delivery to improve water quality and biological diversity in a rural landscape setting. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) selected the Lake Pittsfield watershed to determine how well erosion control practices can reduce the amounts of sediment entering a small rural community water supply lake. The IEPA enlisted the services of the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) to study the watershed, monitor delivery of suspended sediments prior to and after implementation of traditional conservation practices and oversee installation and monitoring of innovative instream restoration practices (riffle and pool structures).

Findings to Date:

Lake sedimentation surveys’ indicated a reduction in overall sediment deposition after installing traditional conservation practices in 1979, however, surveys also determined that Lake Pittsfield was still filling with sediment. More innovative conservation practices would be required to protect Pittsfield's water supply and maintain productive habitat. Water and Sediment Control Basins (WASCOB’s) were installed by partnering organizations in the mid 1990’s. Sediment yield decreased in some areas of the watershed after installation of WASCOB’s, however, in a large area of the watershed the sediment yield was almost double that of previous years. The increase in sediment yield occurred simultaneously with massive bank erosion in the stream segment downstream of where WASCOB’s were installed. Further channel stabilization and naturalization work was required to counteract the downstream channel erosion. As a solution, riffle/pool structures were constructed within key segments of the channel to stabilize the bed and banks and improve quality instream habitat and aeration of the water. More recent monitoring indicates that the channel morphology is more stable and that channel erosion and overall sediment transport has been reduced thereby achieving a more desirable physical balance.

Project Publications:

Roseboom D., S. Tomkins, 2002, Reducing sedimentation in Lake Pittsfield, 2001 Governor's Conference on the Management of the Illinois River System: The Illinois River: partnerships for progress, restoration and preservation, Illinois Water Resources Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

White W. P., J. Beardsley, J. Rodsater, L. Duong, 2003, Evaluation of Sediment Delivery to Lake Pittsfield after Best Management Practice Implementation: Annual Data Report, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Springfield, Illinois.

White, W. P., J. Beardsley, D. Devotta, and S. Tomkins, 2008, Lake Pittsfield Section 319 National Monitoring Program Project., NCSU Water Quality Group Newsletter “NWQEP” Project Spotlight., Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL.

White, W. P., J. D. Beardsley, J. A. Rodsater, L. T. Duong, and S. Tomkins, 2005, Lake Pittsfield Watershed Project,  DVD and VHS video productions prepared by the Illinois State Water Survey for the Illinois EPA/USEPA Region 5.

Project staff collecting discharge measurements on Blue Creek.
Project staff collecting sediment samples during a flood event on Blue Creek.
Looking upstream at a newly installed WABSCOB in a tributary on Blue Creek.
An aerial view of a large detention basin constructed upstream of Lake Pittsfield on Blue Creek.
A riffle structure enduring a flood event on Blue Creek.

Illinois State Water Survey

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Champaign, IL 61820-7463

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