The new WASS project, a Creek Photo Inventory, has the objective of assisting the City and homeowners in identifying areas where stormwater run-off has damaged the creek bank or tree roots, locate broken sewage pipes, locate private drain pipes, identify and locate downed trees for removal and fix locations of point-source pollution.
This is a new initiative which could become an ongoing service similar to the City's Citizen Patrol only with a focus on protection of the watershed.
- Field survey planning
- Team coordination
- Data quality control and organization
- Community awareness and service
- Use of technology to journal field observations.
- Use of web-publishing technology for field surveys
- On-line publishing (blog results)
- Presentation skills.
- Comprehensive survey of all creeks and point-source sites
- City gains better understanding of creek conditions
- Student credit (based on number of approved field photos/observations.)
Here are 2 links to view photos from our project with an adjacent map that identifies the location of the activity.
Map view (zoom to see creeks/roads):
WASS is honored to be this year’s recipient of Kennesaw State University’s GIS (Geographic Information Science) Engagement Award. The award signifies the community partnership between an individual or organization and the GIS program, that results in a mutually beneficial outcome. Specifically, WASS was nominated and awarded the Engagement Award because of its ongoing relationship with the GIS program (at KSU) through the Watershed courses co-sponsored by WASS.
Last year's winner of the GIS Engagement Award was Etowah Valley Historical Society.
GIS Day is held annually, the third Wednesday of November, during Geography Awareness Week. The first GIS day was held in 1999 and in 2005, more than 750 events were held in 74 countries around the world.
WASS is very honored to be this year’s recipient. We look forward to many more years of educational activities and real world data collection that occurs in the affiliation with KSU. It has been a rewarding experience for all involved.
The presidential baton has been passed. WASS welcomes Sherry Epstein as our new president and thanks Dick Farmer for his years of dedicated service.
Sherry has been secretary for WASS this past year and brought a very creative and enthusiastic vitality to our board. Her tenure as president looks to be focused on encouraging citizen participation and expanding WASS activities.
Dick has served Sandy Springs citizens and WASS many years through his extensive scientific knowledge and love of teaching. His ability to write grants brought financial resources that allowed WASS to provide onsite water quality testing. His move to Roswell is their gain and our loss but we think we can still “tug at his heart strings.” Remember, Dick, we’re just across the river!
As we move into this new era, we welcome everyone’s involvement in protecting our precious streams, river and watersheds.
WASS' rain collection project provides us with real time data on the rain fall in our watersheds. With increased citizen participation and consistent reporiting over time we hope to have sufficiet data to analyize the impact to our streams. WASS's rain gauges and the particpation of dedicated citizens gives us this necessary data. If you are collecting information for this project, go to http://tinyurl.com/wass-rainfall-data to enter your data. If you have photos or videos of how the rain impacts our streams, share them on the WASS Facebook page. To see results of the rain gauge collection data, go to http://tinyurl.com/Rainfall-data-results
At the August 6, 2014 meeting held by the Sandy Springs City Council to inform the public on proposed Natural Resources City Ordinances, Patti Berkovitz, representing WASS, spoke up endorsing the need for increased stringency of the ordinances and their consistent enforcement. Here is the link to the full article.
Thanks to the KSU students for their very informative presentation on their work in Marsh and Long Island Creeks. This is the 4th consecutive year that the students, in conjunction with WASS, have tested the same sites at the same time of the year. The accumulative results from their efforts can be found at http://watershed2014.wikispaces.com/. In addition to testing the health of the creeks they also did a study of the tree canopy of Sandy Springs. Information on that is forth coming.
WASS looks forward to continuing this rich experience for the students and the citizens of Sandy Springs. As one student said, “This has been the most instructive course I’ve taken.” Certainly the information they obtain provides all of us with crucial independent data on which development and planning decisions can be made.
The Sandy Springs Reporter wrote an article on the presentation. It and a participant photo can be found at: reporternewspapers.net
SERIOUS E COLI CONTAMINATION FOUND IN MARSH CREEK by KSU students in their stream water cleanup and “snapshot of stream” health project sponsored by and organized through Watershed Alliance of Sandy Springs. Please join WASS and the KSU students to learn more about the health of our streams and watersheds on Tuesday, June 26 at 6:00 pm at the North Fulton Annex at 7741 Roswell Road. KSU students will present all their findings of their 2014 project (including this serious contamination).
On May 22, 2014 at a site on Mabry Road, water sample tests showed e coli readings of 36,350 MPN. The high end of the acceptable range for urban streams is 1000 MPN. EPA Standard is 126 MPN for healthy use. WASS immediately contacted Fulton Co and the city of Sandy Springs about this significant health risk and notified nearby residents to stay out of the creek until the source was found and remedied. Fulton Co found a manhole overflow and possible weeds invading the pipe about 2,500 feet upstream from the collection site. It was on an unnamed tributary to the left as you walk up stream. Fulton notified EPD and are using a camera to check inside the buried pipe. Enzymes were dispensed to neutralize the contamination. As a result, when WASS and the KSU students retested the 2 sites on June 12, 2014, the numbers were down to 720 from 36,350 at one site and 655 from 24,420 MPN.
Thanks to all the coordinated, and watchful activities of WASS, KSU, and the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, the authorities were able to avert a possible serious health problem. New water samples will be collected soon to assure the situation is stable. This is just one example of how WASS, with your help, can protect our precious resources.