1. Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation monitors local waters
Staff, interns and volunteers with CRF monitor water quality at several sites along the Catawba River and its chain of lakes. Sampling season starts Memorial Day weekend and ends Labor Day weekend. Water at all sites is sampled for E. coli and turbidity. Basic water chemistry (pH, DO, temp, conductivity) is monitored at some sites. The Environmental Protection Agency sets the criteria for safe swimming at 235 colonies of E. Coli per 100 milliliters. High levels of E. coli indicate a health risk for people swimming in the water.
2. Charlotte Storm Water also conducts testing
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services is a joint municipal/county stormwater utility that includes Charlotte, as well as Davidson, Cornelius and Huntersville. Storm Water Services works year-round to manage the runoff from rainfall, reduce flooding, restore floodplains and protect the water quality of surface waters. The department’s work includes increasing drainage capacity to meet growth and development demands, repairing and replacing aging storm drainage infrastructure and restoring severely eroded streams and floodplains to hold excess rain.
3. Ramsey Creek is Lake Norman sampling site
Ramsey Creek Park, off Nantz Road in Cornelius and home of the county’s only public beach, is the lone site on Lake Norman sampled by CRF. Storm Water Services tests the water there every-other week from May 22 through Oct. 1. The results of the samples are posted on The Swim Guide’s website, which CRF is partnering with for the first time this year. The latest Ramsey Creek results indicate the site meets water quality standards. The Swim Guide’s map shows other nearby test sites are along Mountain Island Lake, at Overlook Mountain Drive and Nance Cove Road in Charlotte.
4. Lake cove under no-swim advisory
Storm Water Services issued a “no-swimming” advisory July 11 for the Lake Cornelius cove between Davidson Street in Cornelius and Catawba Avenue in Davidson, near the Lake Norman YMCA. Results from routine bacteria samples collected by staff on July 10 were found elevated above acceptable levels for human contact. As of Monday, an ongoing investigation was being conducted to determine the source of the elevated bacteria levels. Because of the advisory, the Y suspended its lake-based activities, including sailing, canoeing, kayaking and swimming.
5. CRF wants water testing expanded
Brandon Jones, riverkeeper for CRF, would like to expand his organization’s testing on Lake Norman. “We’re out of capacity for the number of sites we can do,” he said. “If we have more funding, we could add more sites.” The organization holds cleanups and riversweeps along the basin throughout the year, and will have one on Lake Norman in October. For more information about CRF, visit catawbariverkeeper.org. To report a problem or request service from Storm Water Services, call 311.