When: April 20 at 10:00 AM (additional date May 25-details to follow)
Where: Meet at Bojangles, 5445 Asheville Highway in Hendersonville, NC
Why: Take water samples to identify bacteria pollution in our local waterways.
Who: Everyone is welcome, no experience necessary, training will be provided the day of sampling.
Register: Email Hartwell@wnca.org or call (828) 258 8737 to sign up.
Hendersonville- Bacteria pollution in the French Broad watershed is extremely prevalent, but largely unmonitored and therefore unresolved. Bacteria impairment in area streams usually means sewage or animal waste is reaching the waterway. This is a significant health concern as it can make humans very sick while seriously harming aquatic life. Despite the importance of understanding bacteria pollution, knowledge regarding its distribution has barely begun to scratch the surface. For example, over 15% of the known impaired streams in the French Broad Watershed are damaged due to bacteria pollution; however the real problem comes from the vast majority of streams that are unmonitored. In one study, the North Carolina Waste Discharge Elimination Program reported that 20% of homes in one French Broad subwatershed were illegally discharging bacteria into waterways.
Many of the streams in the French Broad River Watershed are known to have bacteria pollution but the specific sources of that pollution, such as leaky sewer pipes, septic systems, and agriculture, have not been identified. As a result, the French Broad Riverkeeper is sampling area waterways to determine if bacteria pollution exists.
The “Get the Poop Out” program has taken over 250 samples in and around the Swannanoa Watershed; work is now expanding to Mud Creek. Data from the Mud Creek Watershed shows the stream is routinely above the water quality standards for fecal coliform, including 15 – 20 times above the limit in some samples. Mud Creek is also rated as impaired by the Division of Water Quality and the Environmental Quality Institute ranks the downstream portion of Mud Creek as the worst site in Henderson County for nutrients. This is often an indicator of sewage problems from leaky sewer pipes, faulty waste water or septic systems, and agriculture runoff into the stream.
Volunteers are needed to help take samples around the watershed in order to pinpoint the sources of pollution problems. Once the sources are identified the Riverkeeper will be working with property owners and government agencies to eliminate the sources of pollution. This project is funded by Patagonia®.
Interested volunteers should contact Hartwell Carson, the French Broad Riverkeeper, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-258-8737.
WNCA is a 28-year-old grassroots organization that empowers citizens to be advocates for livable communities and the natural environment of Western North Carolina. For more information, visit WNCA at www.wnca.org or call Hartwell Carson at 828-258-8737.