Planning

There are many factors to consider when planning a fecal coliform reduction project. While funding sources are diverse, most require the same basic information in your project proposal.


Project type

Agricultural runoff accounts for about 98% of total required reductions, but septic system failures, where present, must be addressed universally. What type of project would you like to build? In many cases, funding sources specify what types of projects they support.


Location

Where should the project be installed? Use the interactive mapping tool to view priority areas and existing project sites for the project type you have selected. For more detailed information, review TMDL data on the data page regarding which subwatersheds need the most remediation, and which ones are close to clean.

Some stakeholders have already expressed interest in installing projects on their land. Refer to the stakeholder contacts database , which is managed by FOLGR, and for privacy purposes, is not available on this website.  


Expected results

It is important to include project goals and expected outcomes in your funding proposal. Use the fecal coliform spreadsheet tool to calculate load reductions associated with different project types. Other results may include increased community awareness, sediment reductions, and prevention of pasture loss from eroding stream banks.

As community members and FOLGR plan and implement improvement projects, they will want to estimate the effects of these projects on reducing fecal coliform loads to streams. This spreadsheet tool presents an easy-to-use form that collects the appropriate information about your fecal coliform reduction project in order to predict the resultant reductions.


Cost

The spreadsheet tool also contains a cost calculator. Use this to approximate project costs, but don’t forget to include any material and in-kind donations of equipment and labor to be provided by watershed volunteers and landholders.

As part of the watershed-based plan, cost estimates were compiled for specific components of various project types. These include agricultural BMPs, septic system repairs, and residential runoff reduction projects. The relevant tables have been merged into one document for quick reference.


Priorities

In order to prioritize areas for restoration with regard to fecal coliform pollution in the Muddy Creek watershed, Downstream Strategies conducted an analysis of the available land cover and water quality data in the region.  The ultimate outcome of that analysis included three quantitative indices that aid in the objective prioritization of watersheds for restoration.  The three indices developed were (1) a "Septic Index", (2) an "Agriculture Index", and (3) a "Model Index".  Each index spans a range of values, 0 to 100, quantifying the level of priority, where larger values indicate higher priorities for restoration. 

  • The Septic Index score prioritizes subwatersheds using geographic data and analyses that consider the concentration of homes in a watershed and the likelihood of septic failure. 
  • The Agriculture Index prioritizes subwatersheds using geographic data and analyses that quantify the level of agricultural activity in a subwatershed. 
  • Model Index prioritizes subwatersheds using statistical models that predict both the frequency and magnitude of fecal coliform pollution in the subwatershed.  The model predictions are derived from statistical relationships between actual fecal coliform water sampling data collected by the WVDEP and land use and hydrologic characteristics.

The indices were developed at two spatial scales: (1) WVDEP's TMDL subwatershed scale and (2) the 1:24K NHD watershed scale.  The TMDL subwatersheds are management sub-units that WVDEP uses for TMDL development and management decisions.  The 1:24K NHD subwatersheds are based on finer-scale hydrologic boundaries than the TMDL subwatersheds.  Employing the indices at these two spatial scales enables hierarchical prioritization, where prioritizations can be made both at the larger scale (i.e., TMDL subwatersheds) and the finer scale within those management boundaries (i.e., the NHD subwatershed scale).  For example, prioritization at the TMDL subwatershed scale can be used to identify the larger management sub-units to focus restoration efforts, while prioritization of the NHD subwatersheds can aid in identifying individual reaches within those sub-units for restoration projects.

Download the excel prioritization matrix that has scored all the subwatersheds to review each subwatershed’s sub-indices. Also refer to maps on the data page. The user can adjust the weight on the various metrics that were used to score each subwatershed.  Refer to Appendix A of the watershed-based plan for a detailed write-up of the prioritization matrix and results.


Funding options

A combination of federal and state agencies, academic institutions, watershed organizations, consultants, and citizens will be involved in providing technical and financial assistance for Muddy Creek watershed projects. Agricultural project funding sources may include WVDEP 319 grants, WVCA, USDA/NRCS Farm Bill Programs, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and local governments. Septic project funding sources may include WVDEP 319 grants, state-sponsored onsite septic system and low-income housing repair programs, and local governments. The first post-WBP proposals were submitted in Summer 2010, and have been approved for funding. A template based on these awarded proposals is available for your reference.

 

Fecal Coliform Spreadsheet Tool

As improvement projects are planned and implemented, you will want to estimate the effects of these projects on reducing fecal coliform loads to streams. This spreadsheet tool presents an easy-to-use form that collects the appropriate information about your fecal coliform reduction project in order to predict the resultant reductions.

This tool also features a cost calculator. Use this to approximate project costs, but don’t forget to include any material and in-kind donations of equipment and labor to be provided by watershed volunteers and landholders.