Lessons Learned

The main problem of stormwater in Paxton Creek watershed is runoff from impervious surfaces; stormwaters are temporarily stored in detention basins and released off site, as compared to the preferable on site infiltration of stormwaters, and/or storage in wetlands.

Associated with stormwater runoff is nonpoint source pollution, prevalent and pervasive in Paxton Creek watershed. Many pollutants such as the following types are involved: metals, oils and debris washed from roads and parking lots; fertilizers and pesticides from lawns and other landscape; heated waters off parking lots on hot days;  unsanitary wastes from malfunctioning sewers and septic tanks; sediment eroded from many sources, particularly stream banks.

Grasses are much better than impervious surfaces at protecting streams from stormwater runoff, but grasses are relatively ineffective as compared to woodland and fringe ground cover.

Existing impervious asphalt and concrete can be retrofitted to handle stormwater through soaking beds, rainwater gardens, conservation ordinances, and other approaches and techniques.

Sediment has been, and continues to be, a particular problem for Paxton Creek. Excessive stormwater runoff associated with development has caused so much erosion and sedimentation that Wildwood Lake Sanctuary is no longer a functioning lake that has reserve capacity to store stormwaters, or support boating and similar recreation. The lake is so shallow from sediment, deposited by Paxton Creek, that the aquatic areas mainly consist of wetlands. Wildwood Lake is a superb wetland for the endangered American Lotus species!