Altered and Impaired Hydrology

Significant development has occurred in the upper Cahaba watershed in the last few decades. In 2002, the EPA published GIS land use data indicating that in 1998, 38% of the Cahaba watershed was categorized as “disturbed,” up from 8.8% in 1990. In the same study, Buck...

Stormwater Runoff

Stormwater runoff is rainwater that flows over the ground, sometimes with extreme force, picking up mud and other pollutants in its path and depositing it into surrounding waterways.  Unlike water collected through sewage treatment facilities, stormwater runoff goes...

Siltation and Sedimentation

Sediment and Nutrient Loading Numerous federal reports, regional studies, and state and local conservation organizations recognize increased sedimentation from non-point source pollution, primarily from development in the upper Cahaba basin, as the primary threat to...

Sewage

Wastewater Discharges Almost four dozen municipal plants treat wastewater from homes, schools, and businesses and then discharge the effluent into the Cahaba. In increasing numbers, self-contained, packaged sewage treatment plants, serving residential subdivisions and...

Point Source Discharges

Additional Pollutants More than 100 companies are permitted by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) to dump industrial discharges into the Cahaba River watershed. These industrial discharges release multiple contaminants into the river, including...