National Capital Region | Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech in Manassas

In 1972 Virginia Tech established the Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory (OWML) at 9408 Prince William Street. The OWML is responsible for making determinations in a number of areas critical to the ongoing management of water quality in the Occoquan watershed, which is situated on the southwestern periphery of the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. The basin encompasses six political subdivisions, which include portions of four counties and the entire land area of two independent cities.

Research projects at the OWML are conducted jointly with Virginia Tech faculty and investigators from a wide range of other institutions, including other research universities and public agencies both in the Commonwealth of Virginia and elsewhere.

Since its founding, the Occoquan Watershed Monitoring program has built a successful hydrologic and water quality data acquisition and analysis system that forms the basis of regional watershed management decision-making. The system has made it possible for the local governments of northern Virginia to successfully deal with the competing uses of urban development (and the attendant wastewater discharges and urban runoff) and public water supply in a critical watershed-impoundment system.