Riverkeeper teams up with Durham stormwater department

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

Posted on February 22nd, 2024

The creek on the right is impacted by development. The creek on the left is not. The two creeks are both in the Lick Creek watershed.

Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop is working with the City of Durham to provide a bigger picture of how development is impacting water quality.

Sam was out in the field this week, collecting monthly samples throughout the Lick Creek watershed, which she then delivered to the city’s stormwater department.

“The city has its own sampling program, and it does its own surface-water sampling of many creeks, but the city sample sites weren’t necessarily capturing the impacts caused by development in other locations,” Sam said.

The site where Martin Branch and Lick Creek converge runs red with suspended Triassic clay particles.

While the city has been tracking long-term, water-quality trends, they have not been intentionally tracking the impacts of development, so Sam offered to provide the samples for them.

“I think it requires the city to regularly come into contact with the physical manifestation of sedimentation,” Sam said. “When I drop samples off, they can clearly see the difference in samples taken near developments under construction and those that are not. The fact that it’s so visually evident starts conversations about the issue and the impacts.”

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