What is a Watershed

Did you know that you live in a watershed? Yes, that’s right. We all live in a watershed! The ultimate North American watershed boundary is the continental divide which runs along the crest of the Rocky Mountain Range from British Columbia, Canada all the way through the United States, past Mexico, and into Central America. Rain falling on the divide has two choices, to flow west to the Pacific Ocean or east to the Atlantic Ocean.

What IS a watershed? It’s a fancy word describing an area of land that drains or ‘sheds’ its water to a river or lake from higher to lower elevations.

“that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all iving things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.”

A watershed can be big as the Continental Divide where water flows from continent to continent – or as small as the roof of your house where water drains from gutter , to the downspout and eventually to the yard.

Take this concept and apply it locally. The area you are in is part of a watershed and the water is flowing somewhere. Every raindrop from a storm falls into a watershed.

Where does the stormwater from your yard go? It flows to the nearest lake, river or stream, and eventually to the ocean. How about the stormwater from your school, where does it go? Is it in the same watershed as your yard?

Stormwater Inventory

The Beckley Urban Watershed includes over 19 square miles of land area.  In this watershed, the MS4 includes many miles of open channels and pipes along with hundreds of inlet structures and outfalls.  Much of this drainage system is considered a “public system” meaning storm sewers that serve two or more properties.  To meet storm water regulations and to document the location and condition of storm sewer infrastructure, BSB is currently mapping the entire open and closed channel storm sewer drainage system in the Beckley Urban Watershed.

This task requires our personnel to be out in area neighborhoods with our mapping equipment.  This mapping may require work locating public storm sewers on private property.

Our mapping personnel like all BSB employees are required to carry identification which will indicate they are BSB employees and will be in uniform.

BSB welcomes the public’s assistance in helping us locate storm sewer infrastructure.  If you believe you have public storm sewers on your property, you may contact our mapping department at 304-256-1760.

Got Questions? Contact Beckley Sanitary Board Today.