Water Quality at the Virginia Department of Forestry
Forests provide a vital role in preserving water quality. The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) inspects logging jobs to ensure that best management practices are being followed by loggers so that water quality isn't compromised by their logging activities. VDOF's Water Quality Monitoring reviews the status of VDOF's efforts to guard this resource through Best Management Practice (BMP) field audits on a quarterly basis and develops an annual report of these audit findings. VDOF also has a major role in protecting watersheds through riparian forest buffers. Riparian forest buffers reduce erosion and cleanse water entering streams.
Virginia’s Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality Field Guide – 06/2009 [ PDF format ]
Virginia’s Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality Technical Guide – 03/2011 [ PDF format ]
- Silvicultural Best Management Practices Implementation Monitoring for Virginia 2016 – 02/2017 [ PDF format ] [ BMP Implementation Monitoring Archive Reports ]
- View other water quality publications
To learn more about Virginia's water quality:
These activities are allowed under the Code of Virginia: Water Quality Law, Chapter 11, 10.1-1181.7
- Conducting Best Management Practice (BMP) field audits on a quarterly basis and developing a yearly BMP Implementation report for Virginia.
- Cooperating with the Southern Group of State Foresters Water Resources Committee (SGSF-WRC) on region-wide water quality issues and BMP reporting.
Inspect Timber Harvest Sites
Did You Know? Loggers must notify us of their timber harvests using this online form.
Disturbed soil associated with timber harvesting and other silvicultural activities can become sediment pollution in the waters of Virginia. VDOF water quality inspectors assist loggers and landowners with timber harvest planning and execution and encourage the use of appropriate site specific voluntary best management practices to keep streams free of silvicultural sediments. If loggers fail to apply necessary BMPs on harvest sites, sediment deposition may occur, and that can lead to civil penalties under the Virginia Silvicultural Water Quality Law (§10.1-1181.2).
Monitor Streams and Conduct Audits
In Virginia, loggers are required to protect water quality, and the VDOF developed Best Management Practices (BMPs) as guidelines for proper timber harvesting for Virginia's loggers. To monitor voluntary implementation of these guidelines, the VDOF began conducting Best Management Practice Field Audits in 1993. Conducted four times a year and compiled in one annual report, the field audits provide a useful tool in gauging the status of Virginia's water quality protection efforts with regard to silvicultural activity.
Current BMP Audit Report
Help Landowners Conserve Water and Ensure Water Quality
- Rain Gardens conserve rainwater and prevent erosion and you can create one where you live.
- Wooded buffer zones along streams, rivers, and the Bay can be classified as riparian forests.
Earth's water is always in movement, and the water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle, describes the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the Earth.
- Chesapeake Bay Pollution. If you want to know where the pollutants that enter the Chesapeake Bay are coming from, visit the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order website.
- Watershed Assessment of River Stability & Sediment Supply - from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Center for Watershed Protection provides local governments, activists, and watershed organizations with the technical tools for protecting our streams, lakes and rivers.
- Wetlands have value and importance to water quality.
- Stormwater Manager's Resource Center assists stormwater practitioners, local government officials and others that need technical assistance on stormwater management issues.
Water Availability and Supply
- Real-Time Water Data for Virginia from the U.S. Geological Survey.
- Water Resources of Virginia and the United States.
- Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC) website has information about who is monitoring in Virginia, water quality happenings, and water resource information.
- Virginia Water Resources Research Center website.
- Visit the National Academies' Water Information Center.
- Science and Technology to Support Fresh Water Availability in the United States - read the report from the President’s National Science And Technology Council.
- WaterWatch gives an instantaneous picture of water conditions nationwide in near real time.
- National Water Information System has comprehensive data includes real-time streamflow and historical flood peaks.
Water Contamination and Pollution
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published new National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Forestry, a technical guidance and reference document for use in the implementation of nonpoint source (NPS) pollution management programs in forest settings. The new guidance contains information on the best available, economically achievable means of reducing nonpoint source pollution that can result from forestry activities.
- Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).
- Virginia Waters Cleanup Plan. [PDF format]
Last modified: Wednesday, 15-Feb-2017 14:44:40 EST