Tenmile Creek (Maryland)

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Tenmile Creek near Black Hill Regional Park

Tenmile Creek is a tributary stream of Little Seneca Creek in Montgomery County, Maryland.[1]


The headwaters of the stream originate in Thompsons Corner area of the county, about 2 miles (3.2 km) northwest of Clarksburg, and the creek flows south for about 2.5 miles (4.0 km), to Little Seneca Lake, a reservoir built on Little Seneca Creek. Little Seneca Creek drains to the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay.

Water quality and land use issue[edit]

The Tenmile Creek watershed is described as one of the highest quality stream systems in Montgomery County, according to government studies.[2] It is a drinking water source as part of the Little Seneca system, an emergency water supply for the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area.[3] The creek main stem is extensively forested and the watershed contains some agricultural land. However, the basin is bisected by an interstate highway, I-270, and additional land development is planned for the Clarksburg area.[4]

In 1994 the county government had designated a portion of the watershed as a "special protection area" (SPA) to protect water quality by requiring builders to install extensive controls for stormwater runoff.[5] A follow-up study found that after construction of several projects, water quality in the Little Seneca basin was degraded, despite the SPA requirements.[6] In April 2014, the Montgomery County Council set additional limits on development projects in order to protect the quality of the creek and adjacent habitat.[7][8] Later that year, developers filed suit against the county, claiming that the county "illegally limited construction on its property." [9] The U.S. District Court in Maryland dismissed the suit in August 2017.[10] The district court's dismissal was affirmed by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on November 29, 2018.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Tenmile Creek (Maryland)
  2. ^ Montgomery Department of Environmental Protection (MCDEP), Rockville, MD. "Watershed Health: Tenmile Creek." Accessed 2014-03-22.
  3. ^ MCDEP (November 2003). Ten-Year Comprehensive Water Supply and Sewerage Systems Plan; 2003-2012 (PDF) (Report). pp. 3–6.
  4. ^ "Clarksburg Master Plan & Hyattstown Special Study Area". Silver Spring, MD: Montgomery County Planning Board. June 1994.
  5. ^ "Little Seneca Creek Subwatershed". Department of Environmental Protection (MCDEP). Rockville, MD: Montgomery County, Maryland. Retrieved 2016-11-24.
  6. ^ MCDEP (January 2010). Special Protection Area Program Annual Report 2008 (PDF) (Report). AR-SPA-08.
  7. ^ "Approval of Planning Board Draft 10 Mile Creek Area Limited Amendment to the Clarksburg Master Plan and Hyattstown Special Study Area" (PDF). Rockville, MD: Montgomery County Council. 2014-04-01. Resolution No. 17-1048.
  8. ^ Turque, Bill (2014-04-02). "Montgomery council brings official end to battle over Clarksburg's Ten Mile Creek". Washington Post.
  9. ^ Turque, Bill (2014-11-14). "Clarksburg builders file suit, charging that MoCo improperly limited home construction". Washington Post.
  10. ^ Pulte Home Corp. and Shiloh Farm Investments v. Montgomery County, Maryland (D. Md. 2017-08-25). Text Case No. GJH-14-3955.
  11. ^ Pulte Home Corp. and Shiloh Farm Investments v. Montgomery County, Maryland (4th Cir. 2018-11-29). Text. Docket no. 17-2112.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°11′14″N 77°18′14″W / 39.1873282°N 77.3038732°W / 39.1873282; -77.3038732