Watershed Profile

A watershed is a natural unit on the landscape that is defined by topography and based on the principle that water flows from high points in the landscape to the lowest point. Watersheds often cross geographic boundaries — boundaries between local governments, states, or even nations. Herein lies the problem of managing our water resources: each governmental unit typically manages its section of the watershed independently from its neighbor. This fragmented approach to land use may lead to serious consequences in both water quality and quantity in our rivers and streams.

The Pine Creek Watershed, located in northern Allegheny County, is 67.3 square miles that drain 14 municipalities

Pine Creek Watershed Statistics

Municipality Total Area
(sq. mi.)
Watershed Area
(sq.mi.)
Watershed Area
as % of
Total
Municipality
Watershed Area
as % of
Watershed
Bradford Woods
0.93
0.54
58.49
0.81
Etna
0.81
0.81
82.59
1.00
Fox Chapel
8.50
0.30
3.58
0.45
Franklin Park
13.55
3.86
28.46
5.74
Hampton
16.05
14.99
93.38
22.29
Indiana
17.00
3.25
19.11
4.83
Marshall
14.79
0.96
6.48
1.43
McCandless
16.40
12.99
79.18
19.32
O’Hara
7.01
1.40
19.93
2.08
Pine
17.12
12.30
71.85
18.30
Richland
14.68
6.66
45.33
9.90
Ross
14.50
1.44
9.94
2.14
Shaler
10.74
7.87
73.24
11.70
Sharpsburg
0.75
0.02
2.13
0.02

The terrain in this watershed is hilly, however there are some moderately steep slopes. The slopes along with the soil composition of the watershed makes this area prone to landslides. Most of the soil is well drained on the uplands and underlain by shale. However, the floodplains are typically poorly drained.

The majority of the watershed supports residential and commercial development, with the heaviest development in the lower two-thirds of the watershed. Despite the development, there are still green areas in the watershed, primarily on steep slopes and in managed areas like North Park.

(Taken from the Pine Creek Watershed Assessment, Protection and Restoration Plan.)

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