Sound Rivers investigates discolored water on upper Tar

Environmental, Sound Rivers, Tar-Pamlico Watershed, Water Quality

Posted on September 28th, 2023

Resident complaints took a Sound Rivers team to upper Tar River watershed on Wednesday. The issue: discolored water due to turbidity on Fishing Creek near Oxford and Cub Creek near Rougemont.

“We did find extremely turbid water — water samples are pending by our YSI readings confirmed high turbidity,” said Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Katey Zimmerman.

Katey joined Sound Rivers Executive Director Heather Deck and Water-Quality Specialist Taylor Register for a day in the field to investigate the complaints.

The consistency of the turbidity in the creeks indicates it’s not related to rainfall. Katey said they’ll be looking into potential sources, including a landfill upstream in Cub Creek and multiple construction sites near Fishing Creek.

“We don’t have anything confirmed yet, so we’ll be doing some more investigation,” she said.

The upper Tar is home to great blue heron, bald eagles and osprey, all of which were spotted on their outing.

Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Katey Zimmerman and Water-Quality Specialist Taylor Register take a water sample at Fishing Creek.
Water near a landfill on Cub Creek.

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