Juneau Watersheds

Background

Juneau has five waterbodies listed as impaired (polluted). The waterbodies include Duck, Jordan, Lemon, Pederson Hill and Vanderbilt Creeks. Each water has a recovery plan, also known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) to address each pollutant. TMDL reports are linked in the Of Interest box to the right.

Duck Creek

In 1994, Duck Creek was placed on the impaired list for debris, low dissolved oxygen, metals, fecal coliform bacteria and turbidity. Recovery efforts include water quality monitoring, culvert maintenance and upgrades, culvert replacement with bridges, streambank revegetation, sediment removal and channel reconfiguration, wetland restoration, and stream cleanup events. The construction of wetland habitat and stream channelization above Nancy Street resulted in improved fish and wildlife habitat, reduced turbidity and iron levels, and raised pH and dissolved oxygen in downstream reaches. However, ordinance enforcement challenges, ongoing land development and disruptive land use on private lands adjacent to Duck Creek continue to impair water quality.

Jordan Creek

In 1998, Jordan Creek was placed on the impaired list for debris, low dissolved oxygen and sediment. Sampling and restoration efforts include water quality monitoring, stream cleanup events, and stormwater best management practices demonstration sites. Excess sediment in the creek lead to poor survival of salmon eggs and low oxygen readings in the substrate. The creek is largely spring fed and cannot transport large volumes of sediment. The stream corridor is under development, and the lower section of the creek regularly goes dry.

Lemon Creek

In 1990, Lemon Creek was placed on the impaired list for turbidity, sediment, and concerns about habitat modification. Monitoring efforts include a sediment assessment to determine natural nonpoint source sediment within Lemon Creek, and the role of active glacial and mass wasting processes.

Pederson Hill Creek

In 1990, Pederson Hill Creek was placed on the impaired list for fecal coliform bacteria. Monitoring and restoration efforts include water quality monitoring, and the installation of city sewer to adjacent properties. Fecal coliform bacteria continue to be detected in the surface water even though nearly all of the residential and commercial area buildings are connected to city sewer.

Vanderbilt Creek

In 1990, Vanderbilt Creek was placed on the impaired list for sediment and turbidity. Recovery efforts include wetland assessment, water quality monitoring, and restoration projects. Narrow stream buffers and urban stormwater continue to impact the creek.

Recent Actions

Recent recovery efforts to improve to water quality and fish habitat include community stream clean-up events for ongoing debris (trash) issues, water quality effectiveness monitoring to assess wetland creation and stream restoration, and roadway best management practices.