Parking lots – a study in grime

Prescott Creeks has been working with Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy and the City of Prescott to better understand the role parking lots play in the pollution of our creeks.

By monitoring the e. Coli and the turbidity of the parking lot in standard conditions, and again when they have been freshly vacuumed, there are a few different things we should find. Since Granite Creek is being listed as impaired for e. Coli, we should get a better understanding of the levels found in parking areas. Bacteria are often tied to sediment, which can be indicated by turbidity.

By measuring out the parking lot and understanding how much of the flow goes into the area we are monitoring, we should be able to figure out the amount of impervious parking lots in the watershed and extrapolate the amount of pollutant loading that is coming off of the parking areas. Since ADEQ has been clear that improving the quality of Watson Lake (also impaired) is going to heavily reliant on reducing over-land flows from the watershed, understanding this pollutant load and considering ways to improve it, could be an extremely valuable, and cost-effective way to clean up our waters. We could consider how other BMPs may affect the loading; such as pervious pavement, riparian buffer strips, basins for larger areas, etc…

We want to invite you to a Public Water Forum for Monday, April 22, at 6:00 p.m. at the county offices on 1015 Fair Street. Students will be presenting their findings at the forum.

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