Get fixed and chill, stream buffering is a good thing.

Solving this stream’s problems had nothing to do with wifi and everything to do with nature.

Video buffering is a first-world problem that we can all live without, right?

The stream buffering that matters most to us means making nature-based changes to protect the environment, a big responsibility of our Regional Stormwater Management Program efforts.

Beecher’s Brook in Mayfield Village had lost access to its floodplain. Floodplains are critical buffers that help to dissipate the stream’s erosive energy and enable debris and sediment to be deposited during flood events instead of it clogging culverts and bridges. Without floodplain access, the stream will erode downward until it reaches bedrock. When it can no longer erode downward, the stream begins to widen, eroding banks and threatening adjacent homes.

Beecher’s Brook before restoration. Significant erosion, weakening banks, and more.

It’s how nature works. But the problems Beecher’s Brook was facing were the result of unnatural conditions.

In 2018, the Sewer District’s solution was to raise the bottom of the stream (the bed) to reconnect it to its floodplain and move the stream away from steep eroding banks, protecting the homes above.

The Regional Stormwater Management Program restoration project also improved the alignment of the stream as it travels under SOM Center Road, improved water quality by reducing erosion, and improved fish and macroinvertebrate habitats. This holistic approach addressed the stream from the perspective of what is best for long-term stream function.

Taken during the project, the blue shading shows how the stream flowed before work began. Widening the floodplain and meandering the stream away from the homes also contributed to less risk and healthier stream function.
Beecher’s Brook as seen in June 2019. Widened flood plain, raised stream bed, healthier riparian areas and safer infrastructure.

The goal is to get the stream fixed and chill, even if chilling means monitoring and maintaining for the best possible future of Beecher’s Brook.

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Written by

Official Medium channel of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in Cleveland, OH

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