College Station To Begin Testing Creeks For Water Quality

Whenever storms hit our area, storm water runoff pushes debris and pollutants into our creeks, and that water eventually flows into some area rivers.

Ever wonder what's in that runoff?

News 3 discovered how College Station is keeping a closer eye on area creeks.

A scene of serenity is Nikki Van Hightower's backyard view.

The retired Texas A&M Professor has lived in her house for about a year, which backs up to Wolf Pen Creek.

"I think about the creek rather regularly now because well you never know when you are living next to creeks exactly what will happen," said Nikki Hightower, Ph.D.

Donnie Willis spends a lot of time near the water too looking at 24 different sites.

"The typical things I'll be looking for are the animal life or fish life in the water," said Willis, an Environmental Engineering Technician for College Station.

For the last five years the state has required the city to monitor water leaving town after the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a permit to discharge storm water into the Navasota and Brazos Rivers.

"What I have seen is an overall decrease in siltation, decrease in runoff, decrease in pollutants entering the water. A lot of that has been brought on by the cooperation with developers," said Willis.

The city's next phase for the project will be periodically testing the water starting in about four to six weeks.

"If the quality of water is deteriorating then we will back track our sources, find out where it's coming from, and start to eliminate those factors," said Willis.

"Well water and water quality is terribly important to the quality of life of all of us," said Nikki Van Hightower.

It's a program the city expects to keep permanently.

Right now the city has two areas it considers too polluted for human contact.

One is all of Burton Creek, and the other is where Burton Creek converges with Carter Creek near Highway 30.

They are working with the state and Texas A&M to clean them up or even put in a system to filter storm water.

The new water testing kit cost the city about $500.

We're told the City of Bryan tests the water in their creeks only when concerns come up.


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