Breewood Stream Restoration

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What is polluted runoff?

Parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed contain a high percentage of impervious cover – paved or other hard surfaces such as roofs and roadways that prevent rain water from being absorbed into the ground.  Instead, water runs along these surfaces, collecting trash and substances such as motor oil, lawn fertilizers, and pesticides.  This polluted stormwater flows into streams and rivers, where it threatens aquatic ecosystems and public health.  

Effective stormwater management, on the other hand, creates safe paths for polluted runoff to be captured and filtered through the ground before it reaches waterways.  This helps keep the environment clean and our communities healthy!

Extreme erosion prior to restoration. Credit: Montgomery County DEP.
The reconstructed stream with step pools. Credit: Montgomery County DEP.


Project location: Silver Spring, MD

Problem:  Breewood Stream receives most of its flow from four storm drains that convey stormwater runoff from surrounding neighborhoods.  Flowing unmitigated into the creek, stormwater was eroding the streambanks and carrying pollutants such as pesticides and fertilizers.  In addition, Breewood Stream suffered from exposed sewer lines and fish passage blockages along its length.

Solution:  Montgomery County stormwater fee proceeds enabled this stream to be restored.  The project included stream channel reconstruction and vegetative plantings (trees, shrubs, and meadow grasses).  This work was designed to be integrated with the construction of bioretention projects at individual residences nearby and with the county’s Green Streets initiative.

Cost: $800,000

Contact information:

Ryan Zerbe |

Key project facts

Project Type:
Stream Restoration
$750,000 - $999,999
Story Focus:
Cost Efficiency, Environmental Benefits, Community Engagement
Stormwater Utility Funds:
Problem Addressed:
Aesthetics, Erosion, Failing Infrastructure, Flooding / Drainage, Runoff Pollution
Year Installed:
State Legislative District:
Congressional District: