Effect of Choptank Watershed Drainage Project on Suspended Sediment Concentration

by Thomas A. Iivari, Northeast Natl Technical Cent, Chester, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Irrigation and Drainage


Between 1974 and 1982, the Soil Conservation Service, U.S.D.A. conducted a sediment concentration study on the Choptank Watershed in Caroline County, Maryland to monitor the effects of channel construction and modification. The Choptank Watershed is a large drainage project installed in Delaware and Maryland to alleviate flooding in agricultural areas and improve soil drainage characteristics. Approximately 52 miles of surface drainage channel have been installed in the Maryland portion of the watershed along with erosion and sediment control measures such as: in-channel sediment traps, side inlet control structures, spoil shaping, daily seeding, and berm construction. Suspended sediment concentrations within the watershed are generally low and average less than 10 mg/1. During construction periods, the sediment concentrations increase significantly, however the average monthly concentrations leaving the channel reaches are less than 80 mg/1. Within a year after channel modifications are completed, sediment concentrations return to preconstruction levels. In-channel sediment traps retain up to 91 percent of the suspended sediment. Downstream, up to 80 percent of the sediment generated by construction has settled or been removed by filtering action.

Subject Headings: Suspended sediment | Construction management | Watersheds | Drainage | Soil properties | Structural control | Surface drainage | Irrigation water | United States | Maryland | Delaware

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