Bay Journal

Topics: Pollution

Historic DC cemetery digs up pavement to curb stormwater pollution

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A gravesite at the historic Mount Olivet Cemetery, overlooking national monuments in the District of Columbia, is prime real estate, only available to families that already own plots on the 160-year-old grounds.

But the cemetery’s costliest asset has become its network of paved roads winding between gravesites. Covering more than 10 acres in all, the roads have triggered a large annual fee, collected as part of the District’s stormwater management program. The fee is scaled to the amount of hardened surfaces on a property that allows stormwater to wash pollution into creeks and rivers.

The fee on Mount Olivet’s water bill, which had been less than $7,000 before the fee was added in 2009, rose to nearly $140,000 in 2017.

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Bay water quality nears record high mark (Blog)

Water quality in a little more than 39 percent of the Chesapeake was good enough during the last three years to support Bay creatures, from worms to crabs to fish, figures released Thursday show. That was the second-best extent of good water...


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About Pollution

Nutrient pollution, the nitrogen and phosphorus that originates from farms, wastewater treatment plants, stormwater runoff and air pollution, is a major source of pollution to the Chesapeake. In the Bay, they spur growth of algae blooms which block sunlight needed by important underwater grass beds. When the algae dies, they are decomposed in a process that depletes the water of oxygen needed by other species.

Sediment eroded from the land and streambanks degrades stream health and reduces water clarity. Toxins and other chemical contaminants also pose a direct threat to fish throughout the Bay and its watershed.

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