Annual Water Quality Index (CY)
The annual target for Stream Water Quality Index is 80.
The Water Quality (WQ) Index continues to be lower than target.
The low WQ Index is primarily due to high fecal coliform bacteria, low oxygen, and high turbidity. Fecal coliform bacteria levels continue to be significantly higher than the state goal.
- Average bacteria levels in Third Fork Creek are 10 times (10x) higher than the state goal.
- Average levels in Little Lick Creek are five times (5x) higher than the state goal.
- Average levels in Northeast and Lick Creeks are three to four times higher than the state goal, while levels in the Eno River met state goals.
- Low oxygen is a persistent problem in Northeast Creek.
- Turbid water (muddy water) continues to be a problem in Little Lick Creek, Third Fork Creek and Northeast Creek. (Ellerbe and New Hope Creeks were off cycle in 2018. This means significantly less monitoring occurred in these watersheds. These creeks will be on-cycle in 2019.)
Existing permit programs have proved ineffective at reducing bacteria levels in Third Fork and Northeast Creeks. Expansion of existing programs or another approach will be investigated to reduce bacteria levels in these streams and improve the Water Quality (WQ) Index.
Status Indicators: On Target | Close to Target | Needs Improvement | Target Pending