Crafts Creek Stream Flow Restoration Project


CNX Resources Corporation


Morris Township, Washington County, PA

CEC Services

  • Natural Stream Channel Design
  • Liner Design
  • Hydrology and Hydraulic Analysis
  • Erosion and Sediment Control Design
  • Construction Monitoring
  • Construction Quality Assurance

Owner Objective

CNX Resources Corporation was looking to restore and maintain flow of Crafts Creek, overlaying the E18 Enlow Fork Mine longwall mining panel, to a stable and ecologically functional stream channel. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) is requiring flow be restored to the streams’ pre-mining condition.

CEC Approach

CEC was hired to perform a stream flow restoration project on an approximately 1,000 feet section of Crafts Creek. A stable stream channel was designed utilizing  geosynthetics, geotextiles, an alluvial amendment method, and natural stream channel design principles to seal the underlying fractured bedrock and thus help restore and maintain stream flow.

The stream channel grading plan was designed with reference reach data collected along Sawhill Run in East Finley Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania as well as using regional curve equations for stable stream channel characteristics such as drainage area; bankfull depth, width, and cross-sectional area; meander length; radius of curvature; and floodprone area width. The stream bankfull capacity was designed for a 2-year storm event.

The geosynthetic stream liner system utilized a geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) overlain by a Geoweb cellular confinement system to provide a barrier to infiltration into the underlying fractured bedrock. The stream liner system was designed to resist erosion from a 100-yr storm event and was installed in the upstream section of the stream restoration reach. A detailed hydrologic and hydraulic analysis was performed to determine the velocities, shear stress and stream power in order to confirm the natural channel and stream liner design geometry and stability.

The alluvial amendment method used the addition of bentonite to the subsurface alluvium and soils to create a more cohesive and lower permeable substrate soil that can improve stream flow conveyance. This method was used in the downstream section of the stream restoration reach.

An erosion and sediment control design, that minimized the impacts to water quality during construction, was provided in compliance with PADEP Chapter 102 requirements for the project. Construction monitoring and quality assurance was performed to ensure the restoration activities were built in accordance with the construction drawings and specifications. Final planting was completed in 2013.

A detailed stream restoration compliance monitoring program, which included regular field visits for five years to document the progression of the stream back to a naturally functioning and stable stream channel, was performed for the stream restoration reach following construction.