Specialist goes stormwater sampling

Environmental, Sound Rivers, Stormwater Restoration Projects, Stormwater Runoff, Tar-Pamlico Watershed, Water Quality

Posted on August 17th, 2023

Water-Quality Specialist Taylor Register at one of the sites she's sampling around the Village of Simpson.

A big storm sent Sound Rivers Water-Quality Specialist Taylor Register out into the field to collect water samples in the Village of Simpson on Wednesday.

The data Taylor is collecting will be used in a 9-Element Watershed Plan to help identify the best stormwater management plan for the town. She’s on month two of six months of data collection.

“The data we get from these samples will be useful to compare to the bacteria and nutrient results from last month’s dry condition sample,” Taylor said. “There are three sites in the Village of Simpson that I’m sampling, each on a different creek that runs through the area. Last month’s results came back much higher than expected for E. coli and fecal coliform, with one site having coliform levels in the 4,000 range.”

That was during a dry period. On Wednesday, the water levels and flow rate were significantly higher due to the previous night’s rainfall.

“I’m interested to see how this affects the data I’ve collected so far,” Taylor said.

The purpose is to determine the most significant water-quality issues in the area. So far, dissolved oxygen, pH and nutrient concentrations have all came back within normal levels.

“At the moment, the biggest issue I’m seeing is with the high bacteria levels,” she said.

Sound Rivers was contracted to do this work by long-term partner Mid-East Commission, which was awarded a Water Quality Planning Grant through the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

“At the end of this project, this baseline data will be used to help improve this community’s water quality and flooding issues,” Taylor said.

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