What is a Watershed?

roanoke river watershed

What is a watershed?


 A watershed is an area of land that drains into a stream, lake, or river. For small creeks or streams this can be just a small area. For example, within the City of Roanoke there are many different watersheds that feed into the Roanoke River. However, the whole Roanoke River watershed crosses multiple cities and even the state boundary and empties into Albemarle Sound. This makes the quality and health of watersheds difficult to manage as they cover such large areas and cross into different governing bodies. 

Do you know where your water goes?


When it rains, the water you see flowing along the streets into stormdrains empties into the creeks in around the City of Roanoke. None of this stormwater is ever cleaned or treated. Meaning all of the pollutants that are picked up from the streets, driveways, and roofs make their way into nearest stream which ultimately flows to the Roanoke River. Currently within the City of Roanoke, eleven tributaries plus the Roanoke River are impaired.