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Flood Plain Management

Geographically, the City of Bessemer is located near Birmingham in Southwest Jefferson County, eight miles west of Hoover, and a little north of the center of the state. The general flow of ground water is westward, away from the higher elevations of the City, toward the Black Warrior River. Major creeks located in the area include Shades, Valley, Five Mile, Blue, Halls, and several unnamed tributaries. These creeks and tributaries contribute to the composition of several watersheds located within the city limits of Bessemer. 
The watersheds are: Five Mile–Valley Creek, Headwaters Valley Creek, Jordan Spring Branch-Valley Creek, Lick Creek-Valley Creek, Lower Shades Creek, Lower Valley Creek, and Upper Shades Creek. 
All seven watersheds comprise some portion of the 100-year floodplain. Floodplains serve a beneficial purpose to our quality of life. These low-lying areas are where rainfall goes to drain, commonly found adjacent to rivers and streams, and is the area subject to initial flooding. Floodplains function to filter stormwater runoff as it seeps through the ground and into our aquifer. The natural vegetation filters out impurities and improves water quality by removing excess nutrients. 
This aquifer is our only source of drinking water and filtering helps contain pollution before it reaches our aquifer. Such natural processes cost far less when compared to the future construction cost to correct flooding problems, storm water-water quality issues. and other community projects.