Milkhouse Ford

Milkhouse Ford

Washington, DC

Milkhouse Run is located in Washington, D.C. in the midst of a highly impervious urban landscape that has suffered greatly from mismanaged stormwater runoff in the past. This project is located at Rock Creek Park on National Park Service land. The incised channel at Milkhouse extended approximately 1,000 linear feet.

As part of the TMDL load reduction program, DDOE adopted Regenerative Design as one tool to meet their goals in the short term. Milkhouse Ford in particular was an extremely eroded gully prior to construction. Design and construction of these projects raised the invert of the stream channel to provide floodplain reconnection and created a series of riffles and step pools to provide detention and reduce erosive forces.  We were able to significantly reduce tree loss at this project by confining the work to a fourteen foot wide area through the project; thirteen trees that were originally slated for removal were saved through this effort. The entire project was planted with a suite of native species specifically approved by the National Park Service. Additional cobbles and other

This design/build effort, completed in 2012,  applies a regenerative stream conveyance approach. By raising the channel bed and reconnecting the stream with its floodplain and riparian wetlands, the conversion of stormwater to groundwater is optimized, and erosive energies are reduced. The RSC approach will improve water quality as a result of the cessation of headward migration of the channel incision. It will also improve local hydrology by tempering the influence of stormwater runoff on the stream, converting “peaky” surface discharge into shallow seepage, reducing bank erosion and tree loss, and improving the quality and quantity of water delivered to downstream reaches. This project was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.