Watershed Description

The Rappahannock River Basin or Watershed includes the land and water drainage area that flows to the Rappahannock River. The area of the watershed is approximately 2715 square miles, and includes the counties of Albemarle, Caroline, Essex, Fauquier, Greene, King George, Lancaster, Madison, Middlesex, Northumberland, Orange, Rappahannock, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Westmoreland. The City of Fredericksburg and several towns also share the watershed.

The waterway begins as streams flowing from the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge mountains. The southern streams form the Rapidan River, while the Rappahannock River forms in the northern localities of the watershed. The Rapidan meets the Rappahannock just west of Fredericksburg, where Culpeper, Stafford, and Spotsylvania counties share borders. The river at Fredericksburg travels through the fall line geologic formation, characterized by rocks and rapids. East of Frederickburg, the Rappahannock enters the coastal province of the state, where the waters receive tidal influences from the Chesapeake Bay. The river continues to widen and becomes increasingly brackish as it flows east toward Stingray Point and Windmill Point where it meets the Bay.

 

The following lists the locality and the percent of the locality located within the Rappahannock River Basin: 

  Locality  % Area in Basin   Locality  % Area in Basin
  Albemarle  1   Madison  100
  Caroline  20   Middlesex  42
  Culpeper  100   Northumberland  1
 Essex  90   Orange  56
  Fauquier  44   Rappahannock  100
  Fredericksburg  100   Richmond  88
  Greene  41   Spotsylvania  23
 King George  38   Stafford  29
 Lancaster  90  Westmoreland  26

 

Land Use 

Landuse Characteristics

The vast majority of the land area within the basin is in rural and conservation uses. These rural uses can include forestry, farming, low density residential, and small pockets of mixed uses. The areas around the City of Fredericksburg, and around several of the towns include various residential uses, along with commercial, industrial, and other mixed uses. A large land area in Caroline County contains the Fort A. P. Hill military base.

The following lists the locality and the percent of each landuse of the locality within the Rappahannock River Basin:

 

Locality %Rural %Residential %Mixed %Commercial %Industrial %Conservation %Military
Albemarle 100 0 0 0 0 0 0
Caroline 29 0 2 0 0 0 69
Culpeper 88 8 3 0 0 0 0
Essex 95 4 0 0 0 0 0
Fauquier 87 4 1 0 0 7 0
Fredericksburg 0 64 0 18 17 0 0
Greene 53 0 10 1 1 35 0
King George 92 0 5 0 2 0 0
Lancaster 45 24 3 0 0 0 0
Madison 66 2 0 1 0 31 0
Middlesex 15 77 6 1 0 0 0
Northumberland 99 0 1 0 0 0 0
Orange 81 17 0 0 1 0 0
Rappahannock 56 2 0 0 0 42 0
Richmond 96 3 0 0 0 0 0
Spotsylvania 0 89 1 2 4 5 0
Stafford 56 16 4 3 8 13 0
Westmoreland 91 2 5 2 0 0 0

 

Population 

The population densities shown on the following map were derived from the 1990 U. S. Census, and were analyzed by Block Group. The map shows that higher population densities are centered around the Town of Culpeper, the City of Fredericksburg, and near the mouth of the river along the shorelines of Lancaster and Middlesex Counties. Note that since Census Block Groups do not necessarily follow the basin delineation, population counts along the watershed boundary may include persons located outside the watershed.

The following lists the locality and the estimated number of persons in the locality located within the Rappahannock River Basin:

 

* Not able to estimate.

  Locality  # Persons in Basin   Locality  # Persons in Basin
  Albemarle  *   Madison  11949
  Caroline  1418   Middlesex  8209
  Culpeper  27791   Northumberland  *
 Essex  8249   Orange  17973
  Fauquier  24737   Rappahannock  6622
  Fredericksburg  16603   Richmond  7273
  Greene  4698   Spotsylvania  45608
 King George  6652   Stafford  24046
  Lancaster  10644   Westmoreland  5930

 

Wetlands 

The National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) is a project of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The wetlands delineations shown on the following page are the digitally available NWI plus four 7.5 minute quad based NWI hardcopy sheets that were digitized. The areas where no wetlands are shown do not have the inventory in a digital format. The NWI is in the process of being updated and converted to digital format.

The following table of wetlands areas by locality in the basin includes notation where data is not available or only partially covers the locality.

 

 

 

* Partial Coverage of Locality** No Digital Coverage

 
  Locality   Acres Wetlands in Basin   Locality   Acres Wetlands in Basin
  Albemarle  7   Madison  1032
  Caroline  437*   Middlesex  4238
  Culpeper  1167*   Northumberland  7
 Essex  15080   Orange  7871*
  Fauquier  200*   Rappahannock  4680*
  Fredericksburg  **   Richmond  29106
  Greene  188*   Spotsylvania  **
 King George  2737   Stafford  261*
  Lancaster  4794   Westmoreland  3885

 

100 Year Floodplain 

The data source for the 100 Year Floodplain is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Q3 digital data and Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).

 

The following is a table of floodplain areas in the basin by locality:

  Locality   Sq. Miles Floodplain in Basin   Locality   Sq. Miles Floodplain in Basin
  Albemarle  0.09   Madison  11.0
  Caroline  12.8   Middlesex  12.5
  Culpeper  25.7   Northumberland  0.00
 Essex  45.2  Orange  11.3
  Fauquier  16.3   Rappahannock  5.27
  Fredericksburg  0.64   Richmond  13.7
  Greene  2.02   Spotsylvania  5.85
 King George  11.5  Stafford  9.73
  Lancaster  20.8   Westmoreland  8.19

 

Onsite Septic Suitability 

The determination of suitable soils for onsite septic drainfield absorption systems is determined by soil tests at the site conducted by the Health Department or other soil scientists. The suitability map on the following page provides a general indication of the suitability for onsite absorption systems based on soil type. Soil surveys usually list in a table the limitations one might expect for a particular soil type. These limitations are noted as ” None”, “Moderate” or “Severe”, which correspond to the “Suitable”, “Limited”, and “Unsuitable” categories found on the map legend. The soil survey tables are based on high water table and permeability. It should be noted that due to the year that a particular soil survey was completed, the soil suitability indices may no longer be current. To account for this, the project utilized the latest soil type indices available from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

 

Prime Agricultural Soils 

The Natural Resources Conservation Service rates soil types as to their quality for agricultural production. It is well known that the Rappahannock River basin contains many acres of quality farm land. The map shows those soil types regarded as “Prime” for crop production.

The following is a table of prime agricultural soils areas in the basin by locality:

 

Note: Prime soils classification does not necessarily indicate that the land is in agricultural production, most of these areas are in forest cover.

  Locality   Acres Prime Soils in Basin   Locality   Acres Prime Soils in Basin
  Albemarle  not calculated   Madison   28,401
  Caroline   35,906   Middlesex   21,784
  Culpeper   76,374   Northumberland  832
 Essex   64,357   Orange   10,280
  Fauquier   39,367   Rappahannock   46,438
  Fredericksburg  no survey   Richmond   55,713
  Greene  4131   Spotsylvania   13,206
 King George   15,015   Stafford   17,733
  Lancaster   33,243   Westmoreland   16,750

 

VPDES Permit Locations 

The Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) program is managed by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. Permits are issued to wastewater dischargers setting effluent limits and monitoring and reporting requirements. The following list corresponds to the location numbers found on the map:

 

NOTE: MGD Flow 0.00 indicates less than 10,000 gallons per day, blanks are missing data in database

Number   Name   MGD Flow   Receiving Stream
 1   American Security Council Fnd  0.02  Hazel River, UT
 2   Quarles Petroleum – Culpeper  0.03  Jonas Run, UT
 3   Aileen, Inc. STP  0.02   Hickman Run
 4   Washington WTP  0.01  Rush River
 5   Rappahannock River Elementary School  0.01  Rush River, UT
 6   Rappahannock River H. Sch.  0.01   Covington River, UT
 7   Sperryville STP  0.06   Thornton River
 8   Marshall STP  0.64   Carter Run, UT
 9   Warrenton STP  2.50  Great Run, UT
 10  River Ridge Utility  0.05   Rappahannock River
 11  South Wales Utility, Inc.  0.07   Rappahannock River, UT
 12  South Wales Utility STP  0.86   Rappahannock River
 13   Fauquier Springs Country Club  0.02   Rappahannock River
 14   Emerald Hill Elem. School  0.01  Muddy River
 15  Opal STP  0.03   Tinpot Run, UT
 16   Trinity Packaging Corp.  0.00   Tinpot Run, UT
 17   Colonial Pipeline-Remington  0.00   Brown’s Run, UT
 18   Remington Wastewater Treatment  1.40   Rappahannock River
 19  Mary Walter Elem. Sch.  0.01   Harper’s Run
 20  Mount Dumplin STP  0.30  Flat Run, UT
 21  Culpeper Co. Ind. Airpark STP
 22   Ferguson STP  0.00  Jonas Run, UT
 23   Culpeper Wood Preservers  0.80  Jonas Run, UT
 24   Culpeper Petroleum Cooperative  0.00   Mountain Run, UT
 25   Culpeper WTP  0.27   Mountain Run
 26   Culpeper Concrete  0.00   Mountain Run, UT
 27   Culpeper Wastewater Plant  3.00   Mountain Run
 28   American Security Council Fndn  0.45  Hazel River
 29  ITT Automotive North America  0.03   Meadowbrook Run, UT
 31   Medium Sec. Dorm IV – Culpeper  0.20  Cabin Branch
 32   Hartland Institute  0.03   Robinson River
 33  Cleydael Limited Partnership
 34   Rapidan Serive Authority – Madison Wate  0.02  White Oak Run, UT
 35   RSA-Madison STP  0.08   Little Dark Run
 36   Madison Wood Preservers  0.00   Little Dark Run
 37   Madison Co. H. Sch.  0.01   Little Dark Run
 38   Madison Co. Primary Sch.  0.01  Dark Run, UT
 39   Mountain View Nursing Home  0.01  Great Run, UT
 40   Madison Co. Elem. Sch.  0.00   Little Dark Run, UT
 41   Woodberry Forest Sch.  0.00   Rapidan River, UT
 42   Orange, Town of  1.50   Rapidan River
 43   Orange, Town WTP  0.20   Poplar Run, UT and Poplar Run
 44   Rapidan Baptist Camp & Conf Ct  0.02   Rapidan River, UT
 45   Greene County WTP  0.01   Rapidan River

 

NOTE: MGD Flow 0.00 indicates less than 10,000 gallons per day, blanks are missing data in database

 Number  Name  MGD Flow  Receiving Stream
 46  IIHS Veh. Safety Research Ctr.
 47  Luck Stone – Ruckersville  0.30  White Run
 48  Atlantic Research-Orange  0.04  Mountain Run and UT
 49  Colonial Pipeline-Locust Grove  0.00  Mine Run, UT
 50  Locust Grove Elem. Sch.  0.03  Cormack Run, UT
 51  Wilderness STP  0.50  Rapidan River
 52  Flat Run POTW  0.25  Flat Run
 53  Wilderness Corner Shopping Cnt  0.04  Wilderness Run
 54  Lake Wilderness WTP  0.02  Grant Lake, UT
 55  Hartwood Elem. Sch.  0.01  Horsepen Run, UT
 56  Tarmac – Falmouth  0.03  England Run, UT
 57  Colonial Concrete  0.00  Rappahannock River, UT
 58  Quarles Petroleum – Stafford
 59  Fredericksburg WTP  0.42  Rappahannock River
 60  Quarles Petroleum – Fred’burg  3.60  Deep Run, UT
 61  FMC Wastewater Treatment Facility  4.00  Rappahannock River
 62  Fredericksburg WWTF  3.50  Rappahannock River
 63  Glenwood Mobile Home Park  0.03  Massaponax Creek, UT
 64  Exposaic Industries  0.00  Massaponax Creek, UT
 65  Exposaic Industries, Inc. STP  0.01  Massaponax Creek, UT
 66  Massaponax WWTF  6.00  Rappahannock River
 67  Little Falls Run WWTP  4.00  Rappahannock River
 68  Hopyard Farm WWTF  0.25  Rappahannock River
 69  Presidential Lakes, Section 14  0.04  Popcastle Creek
 70  Four Winds Campground STP  0.04  Skinkers Creek, Rappahannock
 71  SEI Birchwood Power Facility  0.57  Rappahannock River
 72  White Packing Company, Inc.  0.12  Rappahannock River
 73  Haymount WWTF  0.24  Rappahannock River
 74  Ft. A. P. Hill – Wilcox  0.53  Mill Creek, UT
 75  Northern Neck Coca-Cola Co.  0.00  UT Chandlers Mill Pond
 76  Montross Sewer Cooperative STP  0.00  UTPortersMdw.,Chandler’s Pond
 77  Montross Westmoreland WWTP  0.10  Ruin Branch, Cat Point Creek
 78  Washington & Lee High School  0.01  Ruin Branch, Cat Point Creek
 79  Wood Preservers, Inc.  0.00  Cat Point Creek, Totuskey Creek
 80  Haynesville Correctional Ctr.  0.15  UT Garlands Mill Pond
 81  Warsaw Aerated Lagoons  0.30  UT Totuskey Creek
 82  Town of Tappahannock  0.40  Hoskins Creek
 83  U.S. Land & Lumber Co., L.L.C.
 84  Doggett Seafood, LLC
 85  W. F. Morgan and Sons, Inc.
 86  The Tides Inn, Inc.  0.03  Carter’s Creek
 87  The Tides Golf Lodge, Inc  0.03  Carter’s Creek
 88  Windmill Point Marine Resort  0.03  Windmill Point M.R. Boat Basin
 89  Town of Urbanna STP  0.10  Urbanna Creek
 90  Middle Pen. Reg. Security Ctr.  0.04  Intermittent trib. to Urbanna Cr.
 91  Christchurch School  0.04  INTRIB Rappahannock River
 92  Mizpah Nursing Home STP  0.02  Rappahannock River
 93  Kruse’s Wharf  0.01  Broad Creek
 94  Bay Ventures, LTD
 95  Green’s Marina & Boat Yard  0.01  Broad Creek
 96  Norton’s Marina, Inc.  0.01  Broad Creek
 97  Dozier’s Dockyard, Inc.  0.01  Broad Creek

 

Federal and State Lands 

Albemarle: NONE
Caroline: FT A.P. HILL MIL RES
DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES
Culpeper: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE
DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
US MIL RES – WARRENTON TR.CTR.
NORTHERN REGION CORRECTIONS FIELD UNITS
FREDERICKSBURG- SPOTSYLVANIA NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK
Essex : DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Fauquier: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
US MIL RES – WARRENTON TR CTR
DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AFFAIRS
DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
DEPT. OF AGRICULTURA & CONSUMER SERVICES
DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE
DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES
Fredericksburg: MARY WASHINGTON COLLEGE
FREDERICKSBURG- SPOTSYLVANIA NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK
DEPARTMENT OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL
DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES
NATIONAL CEMETERY
DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AFFAIRS
ALUM SPRING PARK
Greene: SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK
DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
King George: DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES
Lancaster: BELLE ISLE STATE PARK
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
Madison: SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK
DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Middlesex: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Northumberland: NONE
Orange: GERMANNA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
FREDERICKSBURG- SPOTSYLVANIA NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Rappahannock: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Spotsylvania: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FREDERICKSBURG- SPOTSYLVANIA NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK
DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE
DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
Stafford: MARY WASHINGTON COLLEGE
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FREDERICKSBURG- SPOTSYLVANIA NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK
DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES
Westmoreland: NONE