News

Durham creeks run red after significant rain

Environmental, Neuse River Watershed, Sound Rivers, Stormwater Runoff, Water Quality

Posted on December 14th, 2023

Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop paid another to visit to Lick Creek this week, and what she found was startling.

“It was post-rain. The area had a pretty significant rain over the weekend, so I waited two days to sort of let things flow. It was a disaster zone out there,” Sam said.

In September, the Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of Sound Rivers, filed a lawsuit against Clayton Properties Group, to stop the pollution of Martin Branch, a tributary of Lick Creek, which flows into Falls Lake, the main source of drinking water for Raleigh. The creek is being polluted by fine clay soil pouring off of land that was forest, but is now clear-cut for the construction of the Sweetbrier housing development.

After this week’s rain, however, Sam saw sediment-filled runoff flowing from Sweetbrier into Martin Branch and Hurricane Creek.

“All of the creeks were running red,” she said. “The only exception was our background site, Rocky Branch, where no development is going on. These creeks are located a quarter mile down the road from each other, and it’s night and day. The only difference is development.”

Watch Sam’s video below.

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