Sound Rivers intervention leads to Mine Creek cleanup

Environmental, Neuse River Watershed, Sound Rivers, Water Quality

Posted on July 3rd, 2024

Before the cleanup of Mine Creek on the left; after the cleanup on the right.

Sound Rivers stepped in to stop the pollution of a Raleigh creek last week.

As soon as a report came in of large amounts of sediment being dumped into Mine Creek (near Shaw Lake in north Raleigh) and Water Quality Specialist Taylor Register saw the photo and video evidence of the pollution, she contacted the City of Raleigh Stormwater Division.

“They immediately went out and conducted a site visit,” Taylor said. “Right after the stormwater division did their site visit, they issued a notice of violation.”

Red clay, common in the Triassic basin, was dumped into Mine Creek from a nearby construction project.

The source of the sediment dumped in the creek was a fiber-optic cable installation project nearby — the company holding the permit for the installation was issued the notice violation.

“Turns out, it was one of their contractors who was dumping the leftover sediment from construction into the creek,” Taylor said.

The truck dumping the sediment into Mine Creek.
A trail of sediment led from the construction site to Mine Creek.

Raleigh Stormwater also ordered the company clean up the creek, and days later, Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop visited the site to see if the cleanup had, indeed, been done.

“They actually began cleanup and remediation of the creek that same day,” Taylor said. “It’s not often that pollution issues like this get responded to and resolved so quickly, so this outcome was definitely the best-case scenario.”

Taylor said the quick resolution only happened because a local community member was paying attention and reached out to Sound Rivers.  

“He leaped into leaped into investigation mode, taking tons of photos and videos to show the sediment pollution, as well as looking around the area for clues as to where this sediment came from,” Taylor said. “From his investigating, we had pretty good evidence pointing toward the fiber-optic cable installation project. … In the words of the individual who reported this issue to us, ‘This is one small win for clean water!’”

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