Watershed Conservation

Dirt & Gravel Road Design and Implementation

The Conservancy’s watershed conservation program staff provides technical expertise in identifying and treating all forms of non-point source pollution, such as excess nutrients and fertilizers from agricultural operations and sediment from eroding streambanks. This type of pollution is the leading cause of water quality issues impacting our region’s waterways.

Misty Meadow Road after improvements reduced sediment into a stream.Our trained watershed staff provides technical assistance for water quality and riparian area monitoring, macroinvertebrate sampling, habitat evaluations and monitoring protocol development, among other areas of specialty. Our staff is also available to serve on project steering committees, technical committees and advisory boards at the local, state or federal level.

Why Improvements to Dirt and Gravel Roads Are Needed

Dirt and gravel roads are a major contributor of sediment to streams in Western Pennsylvania. The majority of dirt and gravel road problems stem from inadequate or non-existent surface drainage. The first step is to evaluate surface water runoff and develop methods to properly control its drainage from the roadway. Once drainage and road base issues have been resolved, the road surface must be properly designed to reduce erosional forces. A number of techniques to effectively control runoff from dirt and gravel road surfaces have been developed by the Penn State Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies.

How We Can Help

Our staff has significant experience in designing and implementing a variety of dirt and gravel road best management practices and can work closely with many municipalities to offer solutions and construction assistance for problematic dirt and gravel roadways.

For More Information:

Watershed Conservation Program
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
1067 Philadelphia Street, Suite 101
Indiana, PA 15701