A heavy downpour hit Clearfield County on Wednesday. For those working in conservation, the storm revealed potential erosion and sedimentation issues.
The storm was discussed at Thursday’s Clearfield County Conservation District meeting. Dark, murky and muddy water running through the area can be a bad sign of erosion issues.
“We get these heavy downpours that can cause some stormwater problems but also see erosion and sediment problems,” said conservation technician Fred Berry.
The storm also highlighted areas that have well-functioning systems in place.
“We got an example of why we need erosion tools because you just never know when we could get a big storm,” Berry noted. “They have to be prepared before the rain.”
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Waterways Conservation Officer Justin Schillaci observed the area on Wednesday.
“It’s just good to get out,” Schillaci said, “and see if there’s anything that stands out as being a substantial sedimentation or pollution (issue).... You never know until the deluge hits that there might be some problems around.”
The officer was in Centre County when the storm hit Wednesday. The sights were not attractive. The soil in the Black Moshannon area can be slightly red, adding to the visual effect, according to Schillaci.
“There is some nasty stuff coming off those hills over there,” he said.
These visuals can serve as a potential red flag. Sometimes a better ditch system can address the issue, Schillaci noted.
“It was eating away at the road, but it was also like a deluge,” Schillaci said. “We don’t always get those heavy rains that actually cause that kind of damage.”
The spots he saw in Clearfield appeared less cloudy and muddy.
“It makes me happy to see that a lot of the drainage, the ditches, are functioning properly up on the hills,” Schillaci said.