Arlington Fairfax Chapter

of the

Izaak Walton League of America

Watershed Conservation Activities


Adhoc Adopt A Stream Cleanup of Bull Run

September 14, 2008

On September 6th, the remnants of tropical storm Hannah dumped 6 to 8 inches of rain on the D.C. Metro Area causing many local streams to flood including Bull Run. A debris dam in a side channel a short distance downstream of the Route 28 Access point captured a large accumulation of trash in a fairly small area perhaps a 1000 square feet. Rather than waiting for another flood to float the material downstream we set up an impromptu cleanup on Sunday, September 14th.

Pictured below are before and after images of a section of the area cleaned.

Small section of the debris dam before being cleaned

Small section of the debris dam after being cleaned

In a little more than an hour, two men filled 10 bags with 115 pounds of plastic bottles, glass bottles, styrofoam and other debris. It also provided an opportunity to do a statistical count of the types of manmade floating debris found in Bull Run.

Quantity Percentage
of Sample
Plastic Beverage Bottles 312 58.9
Glass Beverage Bottles 68 12.8
Aluminum Cans 18 3.4
Styrofoam fragments,containers,cups 121 22.8
Miscellaneous items 11 2.1
Totals 530 100.0

Beverage containers were by far the most common type of litter found, making up more than 75 percent of the sample.

Probably the most important find of the day was an unlabeled black plastic bottle that appeared to be filled with used motor oil which was taken to the Fairfax Household Hazardous waste facility to be disposed of properly.

Click on this link for information about our next scheduled Adopt-A-Stream cleanup of Bull Run.

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