This page serves as an online archive & repository for studies & documents on grant-funded projects undertaken or contemplated by the Quittapahilla Watershed Association intended to improve the water quality in the watershed. It also includes studies that offer comparative data on our watershed in relation to its neighbors in the Lower Susquehanna River Basin. This digital file cabinet brims with information on the many impairments of the Quittapahilla watershed, and on the QWA's past successes & ongoing work.
The material is organized in reverse chronological order.
March 2017. Rocky Powell's PowerPoint Presentation on the In-Progress Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP)
This 108-slide presentation, accessible here in a PDF file (46 MB), based mainly on Rocky's 2006 study (accessible below) offers a detailed summary of the many impairments of the Quittapahilla watershed and a plan of action for moving forward, with the formation of five working groups that will shape the final WIP, which is expected to be completed in spring 2018. This document is also accessible on the "Projects & Grants" page of this website.
January 2017. Proposal to PA-DEP's Growing Greener Plus Grant Program for Cleona Stream Restoration Project
This 5-page proposal, prepared by Rocky Powell, President of Clear Creeks Consulting, LLP, is for the design phase of the Cleona Quittie Creek Restoration Project. In the words of the proposal, "we intend to utilize the funding provided under this grant to complete the assessment, design plans and permitting for the entire project area. Future grants will be utilized to complete construction by reach in two separate phases. The first phase of construction is planned for 2019."
January 2017. Contract Between Clear Creeks Consulting, LLC, and the Lebanon Valley Conservancy for Development of a Final Watershed Implementation Plan
This contract (PDF file, 7 pgs.) between Clear Creeks Consulting, LLC (Rocky Powell, Pres.) and the Lebanon Valley Conservancy is for the development of a final Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the entire Quittapahilla watershed. The Watershed Association's responsibilities under this contract are specified mainly on the final page of the document: (1) Planning meetings and decision making process to identify projects; (2) Coordinating with townships, the City of Lebanon, and Lebanon County representatives; (3) Initiating contact with landowners to explain Project Planning and Goals and confirm their interest in participating; (4) Developing and implementing a public education, participation, and outreach strategy; and (5) Developing and implementing a monitoring component to track projects and document that the watershed plan is being implemented. The anticipated date for the "deliverable" (the final WIP) is 31 May 2018.
October 2016. Center for Watershed Protection, "Final Report, Cooperative Restoration Strategy," with "Lebanon County Retrofit Report," prepared for the Lebanon County Clean Water Alliance
These two reports — "Final Report, Lebanon County PA, Cooperative Restoration Strategy" (PDF file, 3.5 MB) and "Lebanon County Retrofit Field Investigation" (PDF file, 3.9 MB) — were produced by the Center for Watershed Protection for the Lebanon County Clean Water Alliance (LCCWA, of which the Quittapahilla Watershed Association is a member) thanks to a Technical Assistance Grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation. The first report seeks to build the capacity of the LCCWA to develop a cohesive county-wide pollution reduction plan for reducing non-point source pollution delivered via stormwater runoff. The Retrofit Field Investigation summarizes the findings of a study on the feasibility and benefit of implementing control measures to meet the Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction Plan for five municipalities in Lebanon County: Palmyra Borough, North Lebanon Township, South Annville Township, the City of Lebanon, and South Londonderry Township.
September 2016. Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Information for Trout Management in Quittapahilla Creek — Proposal to PA Fish & Boat Commission
This 22-page proposal submitted to the PA Fish & Boat Commission by Dr. Rebecca A. Urban, Associate Professor of Biology at Lebanon Valley College, in partnership with the QWA, the Doc Fritchey Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and the Lebanon County Conservation District, proposed to undertake a study to be conducted in summer 2017 to evaluate the suitability of Quittie Creek to support a year-round trout fishery. The proposal would have involved continuous monitoring of temperature and dissolved oxygen concentrations in the hottest months of the year, to be undertaken by summer student interns working under the supervision of Dr. Urban. Sadly, the proposal was not funded, but we keep it here as a reminder of the work that remains.
September 2016. Lower Snitz Creek Restoration Project: Hershey Property — Proposal to PA Fish & Boat Commission
This 28-page proposal submitted to the PA Fish & Boat Commission by the Doc Fritchey Chapter of Trout Unlimited in response to a targeted grant opportunity proposed a stream stabilization project in the amount of $147,562 to restore 1,200 linear feet of Lower Snitz Creek on the Hershey Property and Swiss Premium Dairy Property. A close reading of the proposal shows that this part of the watershed is desperately in need of restoration. Decisions for this and the above proposal (Temp & Dissolved O2) were announced in December 2016. As noted above, the Temp & Dissolved O2 study was not funded, but this proposal was -- to the tune of $115,000. Now Doc Fritchey needs to figure out how to make up the $35,000 shortfall.
May 2016. Benthic Macroinvertebrates Used as a Biomonitoring Tool To Assess Quittapahilla Creek Water Quality
This 16-page report, prepared by Lebanon Valley College student Bryce Betz under the supervision of LVC Associate Professor of Biology Rebecca A. Urban, evaluates macroinvertebrate communities upstream & downstream of Phase I of the Quittie Creek Restoration Project. It compares samples collected in September & October 2015 (after the project's completion) with samples collected in Sept. & Oct. 2013, before the project commenced. The data show a decline in macroinvertebrate populations downstream of the project area, attributed to disruptions during construction and the time it takes for macroinvertebrate communities to reestablish themselves. The data provide an important baseline for subsequent annual monitoring.
June 2015. Quittapahilla Creek Watershed Implementation Plan
This 8-page proposal to the PA-DEP's Growing Greener grant program, submitted by Rocky Powell of Clear Creeks Consulting, LLC, on behalf of the Quittapahilla Watershed Association and the Lebanon Valley Conservancy, proposes the development of a Watershed Implementation Plan focused especially on the Quittapahilla mainstem and its main tributaries. The "deliverable" for this proposal is an "EPA 319 Watershed Implementation Plan approved by PA-DEP and US-EPA." The proposal's request for a grant of $26,250 was approved in April 2016, as seen in this award letter.
August 2013. Quittie Nature Park Stream Restoration, Phase I - Construction Scope of Work and Budget
This is the executive summary of the scope of work (PDF file, 5 pgs., 128 KB) included with the QWA's application to the PA-DEP for a Growing Greener Grant, submitted in August 2013. Because of the high cost of implementing the whole of the streambank stabilization project described below (the "Design Report" and the "Maps" listed below under May 2012), the QWA decided to split the project into two phases. This is the scope of work for Phase I, which covers roughly half of the total linear feet of contemplated streambank stabilization (ca. 1,750 feet, from about 500 feet upstream of the Raymond Swingholm Pedestrian Bridge to the small footbridge on Paul "Stumpy" Graham's land just off Bachman Road).
May 2013. Draft Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Quittapahilla Watershed
This 49-page Draft Watershed Implementation Plan (PDF file, 3.7 MB) was prepared by the Quittapahilla Watershed Association in an effort spearheaded by principal author Brett Long, to whom the QWA extends its hearty gratitude. Building on the work of Powell (2006), the QWA's May 2013 WIP offers authoritative synopses of the watershed's historic and current impairments; models, measurements & targeted reductions in Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs); existing and future Best Management Practices (BMPs); technical & financial assistance; funding sources; implementation schedule; current and future monitoring; remedial actions; and related topics typically included in professionally produced WIPs. After reviewing the document, the PA-DEP was of the opinion that this draft WIP required substantial revision before it could be accepted. The QWA therefore commissioned Rocky Powell of Clear Creeks Consulting, LLC, to prepare a Growing Greener grant proposal for a freshly conceived WIP; this grant proposal was submitted in June 2015 (see above).
March-May 2013. Permits for Quittie Creek Nature Park Streambank Stabilization Project from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers & PA-DEP
The required permits for the Quittie Creek Nature Park Streambank Stabilization Project are here: from PA-DEP (March 2013) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (May 2013).
June 2012. Quittie Creek Nature Park Stream Restoration Project In-Stream Physical Habitat and Fish Cover Monitoring Report.
Prepared by Charles A. McGarrell, Regional Habitat Biologist for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's Division of Habitat Management, this 12-page report (PDF file, 1 MB) offers a rigorous scientific assessment of Quittie Creek's capacity to support fish & other aquatic life in the section of the creek where the restoration project is planned (see the two reports below). Its main findings: that the creek here has much more accumulated silt & muck than it ought to; that its banks are eroding and unstable; that it's too wide and too slow, with too few "pools" and too many "runs"; that its fish population is comparatively low; and that its capacity to support aquatic life would be measurably enhanced by the Stream Restoration Project described in the next two documents.
May 2012. Design Report for Quittie Nature Park Stream Restoration Project
This 28-page design report (PDF file, 1.2 MB) was prepared for the Quittapahilla Watershed Association by Clear Creeks Consulting LLC in collaboration with Skelly & Loy, Inc. and funded by a PA-DEP Growing Greener Grant. The Design Report offers a more detailed description & analysis of the projected stream restoration project discussed on the Projects & Grants page of this website. It includes discussions of the watershed's climate, physiography, geology, soils, land use, hydrology, wetlands, in-stream biological communities & habitats, channel morphology & stability assessment, and restoration design, as well as photographs of streambank erosion and a map of the project site area.
May 2012. Maps Detailing Quittie Nature Park Stream Restoration Project
These 32 pages of exquisitely detailed & multicolored maps, graphs & diagrams (PDF file, 43.2 MB) were prepared for the Quittapahilla Watershed Association by Clear Creeks Consulting LLC in collaboration with Skelly & Loy, Inc. and funded by a PA-DEP Growing Greener Grant. They offer an exceptionally vivid graphic representation of exactly what the Quittie Nature Park stream restoration project will entail along every foot of its projected 3,450-foot length.
February 2010. Snitz Creek Park Wetland Mitigation Bank Prospectus
This 11-page prospectus (PDF file, 1.3 MB) was prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The goal of the project described in this prospectus is "to create approximately 4.0 acres of Palustrine emergent, Palustrine scrub shrub and open water wetland habitats and approximately 2 acres of riparian buffer. The objective of the wetland bank is to provide mitigation for unavoidable wetland impacts on future PennDOT projects, especially bridge and roadway projects on the Lebanon County (LEBCO) MPO Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). This bank will serve the Lower Susquehanna Watershed. . . . A walking trail, wildlife habitat structures and educational kiosks will be incorporated into the site design so as to enhance the use of the site."
April 2007. Growing Greener Grant Application
This 3-page grant application (PDF file, 1 MB) sought funding for the design, permitting & construction of the first Best Management Practice (BMP) implementation. BMP Site 3 (just south of Chestnut St. on the west side of Lebanon) was one of nine available sites identified in the December 2006 Quittapahilla Creek Watershed Assessment, Vol. 2 - Restoration and Management Plan (see below). Site 3 was selected as the first site for implementation because Lebanon County owns most of the land area required to construct the BMP and has agreed to donate the land for this use. Once constructed, this BMP will remove sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorous from the watershed. The project ran into obstacles and has not yet been implemented, but it remains on the QWA agenda.
December 2006. Quittapahilla Creek Watershed Assessment, Vol. 1 - Findings Report
This authoritative & detailed report by Rocky Powell, President of Clear Creeks Consulting LLC, represents the culmination of the 2001 Environmental Stewardship & Watershed Protection Grant and builds on his June 2003 Preliminary Findings Report. In Powell's words, "This Final Findings Report [Vol. 1] and Restoration and Management Plan [Vol 2] constitute the deliverables for Phase 1B and describe/document all of the work completed on the Quittapahilla Creek Watershed Project with both Environmental Stewardship Grants."
Cover Page & Table of Contents
Plate 1 - Watershed Map
Plate 2 - Subwatershed Map
Plate 3 - Topographic Map
Plate 4 - General Geology Map
Plate 5 - Detailed Geology Map
Plate 6 - General Soils Map
Plate 7 - Detailed Soils Map
Plate 8 - Land Use Map
Plate 9 - Floodplain Map
December 2006. Quittapahilla Creek Watershed Assessment, Vol. 2 - Restoration & Management Plan
This is the second part of Clear Creek Consulting LLC President Rocky Powell's "deliverables" for the 2001 Environmental Stewardship Grants.
Cover Page & Table of Contents
Restoration & Management Plan
Killinger Creek, Gingrich Run & Buckholder Run
Lower Quittapahilla Creek Mainstem & Unnamed Tributary
Lower Snitz Creek
Upper Quittapahilla Creek Mainstem
Upper Quittapahilla Creek Subwatershed
Upper Snitz Creek
Buckholder Run & Gingrich Run
Upper Quittapahilla Creek
December 2006. Quittapahilla Creek Watershed Assessment, Appendix
This is the third & final section of Clear Creek Consulting LLC Rocky Powell's "deliverables" for the 2001 Environmental Stewardship Grants. Those sections without hyperlinks consist of dozens of individual files (Excel & JPEG) that will be made available to authorized entities upon inquiry, as indicated below.
Cover & Table of Contents
Fish Table 1
Fish Table 2
Fish Table 3
Macro Table 1
Macro Table 2
Macro Table 3
Macro Table 4
Gage Calibration - 27 Excel files (available upon inquiry)
Habitat Evaluation -
Main Stem Photos - 233 JPEG files (available upon inquiry)
Stream Morphological Assessment - 500 JPEG & Excel files (available upon inquiry)
Subwatershed Photos - 138 JPEG files (available upon inquiry)
Water Quality Data - 37 Excel files (available upon inquiry)
Water Quality Monitoring
Summer 2004. Water Testing along Quittapahilla Creek, Beck Creek, Bachman Run & Snitz Creek.
Produced from data compiled and analyzed by Lebanon Valley College Biology major Stephen Newell for an independent research project undertaken from June to August 2004 under the supervision of the Biology Department, the two files below include data on water and air temperatures, pH, turbidity, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen, nitrate and phosphate concentrations at six sites in the watershed.
2004. Stephen Newell Narrative Report.
2004. Stephen Newell Tables & Data.
June 2003. Final Report for Upper Hammer Creek Fencing & Riparian Buffer Grant
In this project, Quittapahilla Watershed Association representatives met with the Susquehannock Flyfishers and reviewed their goals for the Upper Hammer Creek Watershed. As a result of our collaborative efforts, 9,916 feet of stream bank on six cattle farms in the Upper Hammer Creek Watershed were fenced and riparian buffers planted along the fencing. The project also resulted in successful streambank stabilization on one farm and significant BMP work on adjacent farms.
June 2003. Final Report for Little Swatara Creek Riparian Buffer/Stream Bank Fencing Grant
A grant to supplement this DEP Grant was one received from DCNR that provided the Quittapahilla Watershed Association the funds to install over 9,825 feet of stream bank fencing on the Little Swatara (Funk Farm, Herr Farm, T. Martin Farm). The DEP funds were used to put in the necessary cattle crossings and associated work on the Funk Farm, Herr Farm, T. Martin Farm, and the Earl Zeigler Farm.
April 2003. Preliminary Findings Report for Environmental Stewardship & Watershed Protection Grant of 2001
This report was prepared by Rocky Powell, President of Clear Creeks Consulting LLC, representing part of the "deliverables" for the 2001 Environmental Stewardship & Watershed Protection Grant (see below). It discusses the Project Study Components, Watershed Characterization, Subwatershed Analysis, Morphological Stream Assessment, Biological Stream Assessment, and Water Quality Monitoring.
January 2002. Geomorphic & Habitat Maps of the Quittapahilla Watershed
These beautifully rendered maps were produced by Rocky Powell, President of Clear Creeks Consulting LLC through a grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
January 2002. Field Reconnaissance Maps
A second set of beautifully rendered maps of the Quittie watershed.
2000-2001. Creation of the Educational Wetlands at the Lebanon County Career & Technical Center (LCCTC)
The goal of this project was to create a viable educational wetlands on the grounds of the Lebanon County Career & Technical Center (LCCTC) in Lebanon to serve as a storm water basin, nutrient containment reservoir, and sediment trap during peak discharges, thereby alleviating the severity of flooding in surrounding areas. A related goal centered on public education & outreach through mulched footpaths and observation bridges, permitting public access to the area and raising public awareness of the critical importance of wetlands to surrounding communities & ecosystems. Students and local community organizations assisted in the planting of wetland species appropriate to this environment and the area monitored for natural succession as wetland species emerged.
June 2000. Watershed Restoration and Assistance Program 2nd Grant (WRAP-2)
The goal of this project was to continue streambank stabilization along Quittapahilla Creek, Snitz Creek, Killinger Creek, Beck Creek, and Bachman Run. Substantial segments of these streambanks were restored and stabilized through the installation of streambank fencing and replacing riparian buffers. The water quality was also monitored. This project was made possible thanks to the combined efforts of the QWA and many local community organizations.
December 1999. Watershed Restoration and Assistance Program 1st Grant (WRAP-1)
This project's goal was to install stream bank fencing and plant trees & shrubs in riparian buffers on cattle and dairy farms in the Quittapahilla Watershed, focusing on Quittapahilla Creek, Bachman Run, Beck Creek & Snitz Creek. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection had identified these tributaries as impaired waters as a result of non-point source pollution from nutrients, sediment from surface runoff, and nutrients from groundwater pollution. For this project the QWA enlisted the help of individual volunteers (including employees of the PA-DEP) and a number of local community organizations.
February-April 1999. Report of Water Quality Testing under Dr. Paul Wolf
This PDF file (8 pp., 5 MB) carries the title, "Report of Water Quality Testing at 11 sites along the Quittapahilla Watershed, conducted under the supervision of Dr. Paul Wolf, Professor of Biology, Lebanon Valley College, between 24 February and 28 April, 1999". Its opening lines read: "The purpose of this study was to monitor nitrate nitrogen, orthophosphates, pH, and turbidity levels along Bachman Run, Snitz Creek, Beck Creek and Quittapahilla Creek." The study found some disturbing trends — like sharp spikes in orthophosphates in late April — but considered overall nitrogen levels to be in the "within acceptable ranges". One wonders how these data would have shifted in May, June, and July.
1998. Water Quality Data Collected in Quittapahilla Creek by TRC, Inc.
"Copies of field screening and water sampling results from Quittapahilla Creek" from Robert J. Golden, Jr., Manager, Environmental Permitting, TRC Environmental Corp., to David Lasky, May 6, 1998 (9 pp., PDF file). Offers a sound scientific appraisal of the Quittie's water quality at various points on December 17, 1997, the date of TRC's sampling. "The sample was analyzed for anions, cations, heavy metals, and wet chemistry parameters." Results included high nitrate & phosphorous concentrations and excessively high temperatures at the Lebanon Sewage Treatment Plant, but overall the numbers painted a pretty decent picture. "Field measurement results were consistent with previously reported data suggesting that water quality in Quittapahilla Creek is generally good." The Quittie is shown to be holding its own. This report also appears on the Archives page.
1997. Biological Assessment of the Susquehanna River Basin Study (excerpts)
This PDF file (13 pp., 7.5 MB) offers brief excerpts from a much larger study of October 1997 by Carrie L. Traver, "Water Quality and Biological Assessment of the Lower Susquehanna SubBasin," Publication 190, Water Quality & Monitorying Programs Division, Susquehanna River Basin Commission. Offering a rich trove of techical data on Quittapahilla and Swatara creeks in relation to the whole of the Lower Susquehanna watershed, the study shows the Quittie performing poorly relative to its watershed neighbors. Its waters are the coldest, it has far & away the most "Shredders" and the lowest number of "EPT Taxa" (the lowest biodiversity scores), and both the Quittie and Swattie are tied for last for having the lowest "Total Biological Score" of "10" (compared to a score of "30" for the North Branch of the Mahantango Creek, e.g.). The Quittapahilla watershed emerges as the most impaired of all the watersheds draining into the Lower Susquehanna River Basin.
1970s-2000. Water Quality Testing Data by U.S. Geological Survey
This Excel spreadsheet contains water quality data for Quittapahilla Creek and its tributaries dating back to 1934 (a single entry), with most of the data collected from the 1970s to the year 2000. Measurements included water and air temperatures, pH, turbidity, and nitrate & phosphate concentrations at numerous points along the watershed.