North Shore (Garvey/Glenn Drain) Watershed

SWEEP strategies improve water quality in Garvey-Glenn watershed

Over the past two years, Maitland Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) staff has worked closely with landowners to assess conditions and identify landowner concerns in the Garvey-Glenn watershed

That work identified soil erosion issues along with inadequate stormwater management and corresponding water quality problems.

Intensifying soil erosion is contributing to high concentrations of sediment and nutrients flowing into Lake Huron from the watershed.

When MVCA and landowners reviewed the assessment of watershed conditions, it became apparent that the long-term costs are very high if these issues are not addressed.

Doing nothing is expensive. Taking a proactive approach to stormwater management will protect valuable soil resources, reduce the loss of nutrients and protect water quality. It will also help to protect municipal infrastructure, such as roads and culverts. In partnership with landowners, MVCA staff developed a Soil and Water Environmental Enhancement Plan (SWEEP) for the entire watershed, as well as for individual properties. These plans set out strategies for improving water quality by addressing the impacts of soil erosion and nutrient runoff.

The SWEEP focuses on a systematic approach that encompasses the entire watershed to maximize the effectiveness of stewardship work.

The Garvey-Glenn watershed has been divided into 12 sub-basins.

In the fall of 2012, the first SWEEP erosion control project was completed in sub-basin one located in the headwaters. A series of berms and French Drains were installed to create ponding areas that slow down stormwater runoff. 2013 was one of the wettest years on record and this gave MVCA staff and landowners a chance to see the berms in action. The results were very positive with the berms and drains performing exactly as planned.

In the spring of 2013, 2.5 acres were planted to trees in order to retire fragile land next to the Garvey creek.

Design work and tendering for erosion control projects in sub-basin two and sub-basin five have been completed and another 2 acres of trees are ready to be planted in 2014.

As well, a permanent stream flow station, three temporary stream level gauges and a weather station were installed in the watershed. Data is now being gathered from this equipment to establish a rating curve that will enable staff to remotely estimate flow levels. The Garvey-Glenn watershed is part of a project to develop a Rural Stormwater Management Model. The model will assist with predicting the effects of weather events on water levels and erosion.

Eleven sites in the Garvey-Glenn watershed are monitored for water quantity, nutrients and sediment. This monitoring is critically important for evaluating the outcomes of stewardship work and ensuring project objectives are met.

The involvement of landowners and partners in the implementation of the Garvey-Glenn SWEEP will continue to be vital to the success of the project.

To achieve significant progress in managing stormwater, the combined expertise and local experience of landowners, partner agencies and staff will be required.

Together we can effectively protect our local soil and water resources.


Mel Luymes

Maitland Valley Conservation Authority

Field Erosion After Heavy Rain
Field Erosion After Heavy Rain
Overland runoff
Overland runoff
Stream Assessment
Stream Assessment
Field Assessment
Field Assessment


North Shore (Garvey/Glenn Drain) Watershed





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