Urban stream

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Second River, an urban stream in Orange, New Jersey

An urban stream is a formerly natural waterway that flows through a heavily populated area. Urban streams are often polluted by urban runoff and combined sewer outflows.[1]

Governments may alter the flow or course of an urban stream to prevent localized flooding by river engineering: lining stream beds with concrete or other hardscape materials, diverting the stream into culverts and storm sewers, or other means. Some urban streams, such as the subterranean rivers of London, run completely underground. These modifications have often reduced habitat for fish and other species, caused downstream flooding due to alterations of flood plains, and worsened water quality.[2]

Some urban streams, such as the Hobart Rivulet in Tasmania, run underground for substantial distances

Some communities have begun stream restoration projects, using techniques such as daylighting, in an attempt to correct the problems caused by alteration, and fix stream bank erosion caused by heavy stormwater runoff.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Walsh, Christopher J. et al.(2005)."The urban stream syndrome: current knowledge and the search for a cure." Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 2005, 24(3):706–723. doi:10.1899/04-028.1, ISSN 0887-3593
  2. ^ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, DC (2007). "National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Hydromodification." Document No. EPA 841-B-07-002. July 2007.
  3. ^ California Department of Water Resources. "Urban Streams Restoration Program". Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  4. ^ Revkin, Andrew C. (16 July 2009). "Rolling Back Pavement to Expose Watery Havens". New York Times. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 


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