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Heart of Arlington Neighborhood Association Johnson Creek Update. November 15, 2011. Agenda. Introduction – Pete Jamieson, Director, COA Parks & Recreation Department Discussion of Johnson Creek Federal Project – Amy Archambeau, USACE

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Heart of arlington neighborhood association johnson creek update

Heart of Arlington Neighborhood Association Johnson Creek Update

November 15, 2011


  • Introduction– Pete Jamieson, Director, COA Parks & Recreation Department

  • Discussion of Johnson Creek Federal Project – Amy Archambeau, USACE

  • Environmental / Engineering Challenges & Opportunities – James Thomas, HDR

  • Water Quality & Litter Management Efforts – Bill Brown, COA – Storm Water Executive Manager

Birth of a us army corps of engineers civil works project

Birth of a US Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Project

Problem Perception

Request for Federal Action

Study of Problem & Report Preparation

Report Review and Approval

Project Authorization

Project Implementation

It takes two to tango

“It Takes Two to Tango”

Local Agency must request a project, be willing to partner with USACE

Local Agency and USACE share costs to:

Conduct study to develop a project

Design project

Build project

When project complete, local agency assumes operation and maintenance responsibilities

Johnson creek recent history 1990 1999
Johnson Creek: Recent History (1990 – 1999)

  • 1990. USACE proposed construction of concrete-lined channels along substantial stretches of Johnson Creek.

  • 1995. The City of Arlington (COA) rejected USACE’s 1990 proposal.

    • Potential negative impact on recreation and economic development

    • Loss of wildlife habitat

  • 1997. COA adopted a more holistic alternative, the Johnson Creek Corridor Plan, to the 1990 USACE proposal.

    • Widely supported by community

    • Funding to implement plan not available

  • 1997 – early 1999. The COA began acquiring flood-prone properties and removing structures near Creek.

Johnson creek recent history 1999 2001
Johnson Creek: Recent History (1999-2001)

  • 1999. USACE study completed,

    • Project footprint established

    • COA-USACE signed agreement for design, plans, and specs to remove flood-prone structures, restore ecosystem

    • 142 structures were identified for removal.

  • 2000. Removal of remaining structures (not previously removed by the COA) begun.

  • 2001. Removal of the structures identified in the 1999 Federal projectwas largely complete. All but three of the flood-prone structures had been removed by yearend.

  • 2001. Design of ecosystem restoration component begun.

Johnson creek recent history 2004 2007
Johnson Creek: Recent History (2004 – 2007)

  • 2004 – 2006. Dallas Cowboys announced move to Arlington

    • Proposal for new stadium approved by citizens

    • Master plan for stadium area and Vision of Conservation Plan published

    • COA suspended further work on 1999 Federal Project

      • Flood prone structures had been acquired, all but 3 demolished

      • Majority of lands for ecosystem restoration had been acquired

  • November 2007. Legislation passed to modify the 1999 Federal project to reflect concepts of Vision of Conservation Plan.

Johnson creek recent history 2008
Johnson Creek: Recent History (2008)

  • 2008. Work by COA and USACE to develop plan compatible with 1999 original authorization and new legislation. Plan Objectives are:

    • Maintain Flood Risk Management benefits gained by 1999 project (buy-outs)

    • Look for ways to stabilize streambanks and reduce sedimentation

    • Improve water quality

    • Restore aquatic and riparian ecosystems in and around Creek

    • Enhance recreational opportunities

  • Document the plan in a Integrated Feasibility Study/ Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

Johnson creek recent history 2008 2009
Johnson Creek: Recent History (2008 – 2009)

  • 2008 - 2009. Document Existing and Future Without Project conditions

    • Comprehensive inventory of conditions in and around the creek:

      • Hydrologic – Amount of water in Creek

      • Hydraulic – What water is doing

      • Geomorphic – How channel may migrate

      • Biologic – Animal and plant life, both desirable and undesirable

    • Identify problem areas – where erosion and deposition occur, bank instability

    • Forecast what is likely to happen if nothing is done

Johnson creek feasibility study
Johnson Creek Feasibility Study

  • 2010 – 2011. New agreement negotiated between COA and USACE to cover study (approx 3 years)

  • Budget and schedule presented to COA City Council

  • Five organizations collaborating: COA, USACE, three consultants.

  • Develop plan for Creek in Federal project areas

  • Identify and fully disclose impacts of plan, both positive and negative

  • Comply with all requirements of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

Johnson creek project next steps
Johnson Creek Project: Next Steps

  • January 2012: Agreement signed, Study begins

  • August 2012: Complete preliminary exploration of measures to address ecosystem restoration and flood risk management problems and opportunities

  • February 2013: Complete detailed investigations to refine and optimize plan components, determine effects.

  • September 2013: Identify recommended plan (balance benefits against negative impacts).

Project conclusion
Project Conclusion

  • March 2014: Complete project document, Integrated Feasibility Report/Environmental Impact Statement (IFR/EIS)

  • April – October 2014: Final Review Period (both External and Public Reviews)

  • December 2014: Feasibility Study complete

  • If funding available, Design (plans & specs) and Construction would take another 3 – 4 years.

Environmental engineering challenges opportunities
Environmental / Engineering Challenges & Opportunities

  • Channel migration, erosion, and sedimentation

  • Small stabilization projects vs. system approach

  • Exotic plant species

  • Water quality – Bill Brown to cover

Channel migration
Channel Migration

  • Channel migration is natural

  • Erosion and sedimentation rates in equilibrium = dynamically stable

  • Channel migration rate accelerates with increased flow

  • Channel will adjust to balance flow, slope and sediment transport

Channel migration small project issues
Channel Migration – Small Project Issues

  • Today’s quick fix = future channel obstruction

  • Create scouring conditions

  • Impacts downstream landowners

Johnson Creek, Reach 5

Johnson Creek, Reach 6

Opportunities for stabilization restoration
Opportunities for Stabilization & Restoration

  • Alternative analysis must consider effects to reach and system

  • Reach = segment with similar flow, slope and substrate characteristics

  • Effects include range of items (flow, bank condition, habitat, etc.)

Channel stabilization alternatives
Channel Stabilization Alternatives

Wide Channel Section

  • More land required

  • Larger construction disturbance

  • Requires public control of land (purchase / easement)

  • Lower construction cost per unit

Coffee Creek, Edmond, OK

Channel stabilization alternatives1
Channel Stabilization Alternatives

Narrow Channel Section

  • Less land required

  • Smaller construction area

  • Requires public control of land (purchase / easement)

  • Higher construction cost per unit

Fort Branch, Austin, TX

Exotic invasive species
Exotic & Invasive Species

  • Impact native habitat

  • Tree & shrub species

  • Areas in excess of 3,000 stems / acre

  • Introduced by:

    • Yard waste

    • Flood waters

    • Wildlife

Exotic invasive species1
Exotic & Invasive Species

  • Control is a challenging combination

    • Education

    • Chemical, mechanical & manual control

    • Ongoing maintenance

Project area
Project Area

  • Refer to map

City of arlington stormwater management past present future

City of ArlingtonStormwater ManagementPast, Present, & Future


  • Evolution of Stormwater Management in Arlington

  • Water Quality Background for Johnson Creek

  • Pollution Prevention & Control

Historic problems
Historic Problems

  • Comprehensive land use planning & site design standards did not adequately incorporate watershed and stream protection considerations.

  • No centralized responsibility for stormwater management.

  • Significant funding shortfall for addressing stormwater management.

Stormwater management
Stormwater Management

  • Stream channels straightened

  • Channels Paved or Piped

  • Collect stormwater and get it away quickly!!!

Problem statement
Problem Statement

  • Urban encroachments increase volume and velocity of stormwater runoff entering the streams.

  • Exceeding conveyance and storage capacity leaves stream banks prone to erosion and failure.

Floodplain After Filling

And/Or Increased Runoff

2005 citizen policy review committee stormwater charge
2005 Citizen Policy Review Committee Stormwater Charge

  • Stormwater Pollution

  • Erosion & Sedimentation

  • Flooding

  • Debris in Streams & Creeks

  • Aging Infrastructure

  • Funding

Summary of the 2005 cprc recommendations
Summary of the 2005 CPRC Recommendations

  • Create a Comprehensive Stormwater Plan

  • Develop Policies for addressing Stormwater Issues

  • Expand Stormwater System Preventative Maintenance Program

  • Address Funding Issues

City response to cprc
City Response to CPRC

  • Retained a consultant to develop a Comprehensive Stream Management Plan

    • Stream inventory

    • Erosion risk identification

  • Addressed Funding Issues

  • Consolidated Stormwater Responsibilities

Stormwater management funding
Stormwater Management Funding

  • October 2007 implemented a 4 year Stormwater Utility Fee adjustment

  • Equalized fees for residential and non-residential properties

  • Based upon impervious area

  • Funds Stormwater Management Administration, Operations, Maintenance, & Capital Projects

Stormwater management administration
Stormwater Management Administration

  • Stormwater Management re-organized under Public Works & Transportation

  • Administration, Operations, Inspections, & Educational Outreach under Stormwater Executive Manager

  • Promote uniform Stormwater Management Vision

Programmatic vision
Programmatic Vision

  • Comprehensive Stormwater Management Program addressing water quality & quantity

  • Establish a program addressing:

    • Administration & Management

    • Maintenance

    • Watershed Planning

    • Public Information & Education

    • Regulatory Enhancements & Guidance

Stream management program
Stream Management Program

  • Stream Reach Inventory

  • Stream Cleaning

    • Initial Stream Reach Maintenance

    • Routine Stream Reach Maintenance

    • Emergency Stream Reach Maintenance

  • Stream Bank Stabilization & Restoration

  • Education Outreach

Changing stormwater management
Changing Stormwater Management

  • Traditional Method

    • Convey stormwater quickly from site to stream

  • New Paradigm

    • Integrate green design

    • View stormwater as a resource

    • Manage stormwater on-site

    • Reduce pollutant loads to water bodies

Water quality
Water Quality

  • City Required to monitor water quality in streams.

  • Cooperate in North Central Texas Regional Stormwater Monitoring Program.

  • Three monitoring locations on Johnson Creek.

    • Johnson Creek at Matlock Road

    • Johnson Creek at Meadowbrook Park

    • Johnson Creek at East Copeland Road

Water quality data
Water Quality Data

  • Data for 17 constituents including BOD, pH, TSS, N, P, & Heavy Metals

  • Data consistent with other Metroplex Urban Streams

  • Johnson Creek does NOT currently appear on the EPA 303(d) list of Impaired Streams

  • Data available from the North Central Texas Council of Governments – Cooperative Wet Weather Monitoring

Stream pollution sources
Stream Pollution Sources

  • Home Vehicle Maintenance

  • Vehicle & Pressure Washing

  • Household Hazardous Wastes

  • Lawn & Garden Care

  • Pet Waste

  • Litter & Dumping

Vehicle maintenance
Vehicle Maintenance

  • Use funnels or pumps to avoid spills

  • Don’t dump used oil and antifreeze in the storm drain

  • Clean up spills

  • Fix leaks

Lawn garden
Lawn & Garden

  • Don’t dump yard waste in the storm sewer or stream.

  • Before fertilizing your lawn, test to soil to determine what is needed. (http://soiltesting.tamu.edu/)

  • Consider composting your grass clippings.

  • Apply materials per instructions.

Pet wastes
Pet Wastes

  • Dispose of Pet Waste Appropriately

    • Scoop the Poop

    • Don’t dump kitty litter in storm drain or creek

    • Don’t dump flea dip solutions into storm drains

Litter dumping
Litter & Dumping

  • Urban drainage systems are designed to take stormwater to the stream. Runoff carries litter.


  • Put trash in appropriate receptacle.

  • Recycle

  • Don’t put your garbage bag in the street gutter.

  • If you see someone dumping in the storm drain or creek, report it:

    • garbage, construction materials, and bulky items to Arlington’s Code Compliance hotline at 817-459-6777.

    • dumping of liquids or spills in creeks and streams to Pollution Prevention Hotline at 817-459-6599.