Turbidity levels low for Lick Creek, except…

Environmental, Sound Rivers

Posted on February 23rd, 2023

A sunny day and a relatively sediment-free area of Lick Creek. The picture below shows the same creek on the same day, the only difference is location: the second photo is taken near the site of a housing development under construction.

Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop was back out in Lick Creek this week, taking turbidity samples. She’s been doing this every other week for the last several months, gathering data to determine just how much erosion issues and the resulting sedimentation from the many adjacent construction sites are impacting water quality and aquatic life.

Lick Creek is in Durham, a part of the Neuse watershed and is a tributary of Falls Lake, a drinking source for many residents in the urban area.

“Turbidity readings were the lowest yet, likely due to the dryer weather recently,” Sam said. “That said, the streams next to and coming directly from developments were still much higher than state standards require.”

This can be seen in Sam’s photos: Lick Creek looking relatively clear, as compared to the photos of the creek where the red clay soil running off construction sites turn the water a bright orange — and that’s on a clear day.

Sam is working with the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Durham City Council, exploring options to get a handle on the rampant development occurring in previously rural areas and ordinances to enforce erosion control from those construction sites.

Lick Creek near the location of a housing development under construction.

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