Moores Creek Watershed

     The Moores Creek Watershed is a diverse place, ranging from city streets to forests, fields, and mountains. The watershed is 36 square miles, and includes about half of the City of Charlottesville, parts of the University of Virginia, and parts of southern Albemarle  County. The watershed is bounded to the east by the ridge line of Carters Mountain and to the west by the Ragged Mountain ridge. Moores Creek flows into the Rivanna River at Woolen Mills. The watershed divide between Moores Creek and the Rivanna River runs right through Thomas Jefferson's hilltop home, Monticello. Significant tributaries in the Moores Creek watershed include Biscuit Run, Morey Creek, and Rock Creek. Ragged Mountain Reservoir, a drinking water source for Charlottesville and parts of Albemarle, is also located on the western slopes of the watershed. Notable sites include Monticello, Scott Stadium, Piedmont Virginia Community College, Birdwood Golf Course, the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority's Moores Creek Sewage Treatment Plant, and the Ragged Mountain Natural Area, maintained by the Ivy Creek Foundation.
     Monitoring conducted in Moores Creek has found many pollutants associated with urban runoff, including bacteria, sediment, and heavy metals. Moores Creek is listed as an "Impaired Water" by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in the 2002 Impaired Waters report. The creek is on this list due to high fecal coliform (bacteria) levels. This situation has been the subject of a special study conducted by the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission. The study, termed a TMDL (total maximum daily load) study, explored the sources of bacterial pollution in the watershed. A follow-up effort currently underway will draft an implementation plan to try to correct the problem.
     The Moores Creek Watershed is, nevertheless, home to some wonderful and rugged landscapes, and miles of trail maintained by the Rivanna Trails Foundation and the Ivy Creek Foundation (at the Ragged Mountain Natural Area).