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The Elks Club monitoring site is located on the northwest corner of Elks Club Drive and Bel Aire Circle in El Dorado County. It is monitored as a catchment outfall and a BMP at one monitoring station (EC). At 14.4 acres, it is a relatively small catchment comprised primarily of single family residential and secondary road land uses. Elks Club Drive is a fairly steep road that serves as the primary access road for this neighborhood. Runoff is channelized along the north side of the road and routed directly to the monitoring location adjacent to the roadside.
Prior to the summer of 2018, Elks Club Drive was in poor condition, covered in cracks and potholes. Visual observations and a pilot study on Pioneer Trail in El Dorado County from 2012-2014 suggested that the degraded road surface itself was contributing a substantial amount of fine sediment to stormwater runoff.
The Elks Club monitoring site was established to determine if improving road condition would result in decreased FSP loads in stormwater runoff from this catchment. In the summer of 2018, El Dorado County completed an erosion control project in this catchment that included completely reconstructing Elks Club Drive and armoring the road shoulders and roadside channels with asphalt and rocks.
A repaved road is more durable and less likely to deteriorate under the heavy equipment and plow blades used for snow removal operations. The smooth surface is easier to sweep and therefore more road abrasives can be recovered. New roads also look nicer and provide a better driving experience. The primary purpose of this monitoring site is to conduct pre and post project monitoring and perform source apportionment analyses on runoff samples to determine what portion of the fine sediment originates from native soil (road shoulder erosion), traction abrasives (road sand), and asphalt plus asphalt binder (the road itself).
Post project data collected at Elks Club indicates that repaving a road contributes to improved water quality (less sediment). Improved pavement condition should be recognized as a water quality BMP, not only to garner credits for the Lake Tahoe TMDL Clarity Crediting Program but also to potentially open up water quality improvement funds for road maintenance and vice versa. New roads would be beneficial for public safety, vehicle maintenance costs, aesthetic appeal, driving pleasure, road maintenance and sweeping operations, long term durability, snow removal operations, stormwater quality, and lake clarity.
To view the Elks Club Pavement Improvement Study visit Publications & Links