If the Southern Appalachian peaks are the soul of Western North Carolina, the French Broad River is the region’s pulse. After leaving North Carolina, the French Broad proc… “If impaired, it would only include the sections that we are sampling and where the data supports an impairment which indicates the stream segment is not meeting Class B designated use,” Gurney said. This is extremely rare in the summertime. Tourists and residents alike visit the urban waterfront, where once abandoned industrial warehouses have been transformed into artists’ studios, breweries, and restaurants. Storing wet coal ash in unlined ponds causes groundwater contamination, and the groundwater eventually flows into tributaries of the French Broad or directly into the river itself. French Broad River. ABOUT THIS BOOK: As a community, it makes no sense to subsidize energy costs with the health of our rivers. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. But the lurking dangers of the unsafe disposal of coal ash threaten the long-term health of the river and the region. By Gary Peeples, Deputy Field Office Supervisor/Public Affairs Officer March 22, 2018. There the river becomes wilder, winding through Pisgah National Forest. In January 2013, the Southern Environmental Law Center gave Duke Energy a 60-day notice that, if the environmental problems go unaddressed, a lawsuit will be brought pursuant to the Clean Water Act. Instead, a fecal coliform standard is used by multiple sampling events, especially in water like the French Broad River where water quality conditions can change quickly. “There are a lot of days when you see clear down to the bottom of the river.”. └ Tags: bacteria, e-coli, environment, French Broad, pollution, River, sewage, straight piping, The French Broad River, tubing, turbidity, waste, water, waterways Comment . SUBSCRIBE NOW $3 for 3 months. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. E. coli, a type of fecal coliform, is a species of bacteria found in the environment, food and human and animal intestines. Riverkeeper: E. coli-pocalypse in the French Broad River, NC DEQ issues water quality violation notice to Tryon Equestrian Center, WNC outdoor outfitters reopen, with COVID-19 safety precautions. The Kingston catastrophe isn’t an isolated incident. Commercial outfitters and paddlers flock to this area to paddle the Barnard to Hot Springs section. Carson states a sample taken Jan. 27 behind the former location of the 12 Bones Smokehouse contained 65 times more than the safe limit for E. coli, a bacteria known for causing illness in humans. These waterways support critical wildlife habitat for many species, such as the hellbender salamander and rainbow trout. "All of that rolled into one is bringing more pollution into the river.” To put it bluntly, she says the French Broad River watershed is increasingly becoming the region’s unflushed toilet bowl. In March the state of North Carolina filed a separate lawsuit. While Mayfield said she has been urging creation of the task force “for years,” she hasn’t been able to get traction among council members. NCDENR data from the past 18 months shows a number of pollution problems and violations, but river quality advocates communicate the tremendous improvement from decades ago when “the river was too thin to plow and too thick to drink,” said Hartwell Carson, the French Broad Riverkeeper with the Asheville-based environmental nonprofit Western North Carolina Alliance. The state agency ensures safe drinking water, evaluates water quality and enforces actions for violations of environmental regulations. According to the National Weather Service, as of Aug. 13 there has been 5.53 inches of rainfall in Asheville, compared to 3.98 inches for all of August 2019. “Unfortunately the trend is worse. French Broad River is formed by the junction of North Fork and West Fork in southern Transylvania County near the town of Rosman. Riverkeeper volunteers take water samples every Wednesday and release the results on Thursday. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. The parks lining the river’s edge create an urban oasis, interrupted only by the occasional tall building hinting of downtown Asheville. ... Another French Broad River sewage spill. The stretch consists mostly of splashy and fun Class II and Class III rapids, with one Class IV rapid, Frank Bell’s, just before the town of Hot Springs. The upper mainstem French Broad River system drains from the high mountains of the Blue Ridge and flows through the broad, flat valley of the Asheville Basin. The source of the chocolatey soup-like quality of the river that runs through Asheville could be from heavy rain, increased sedimentation from construction runoff or sewage leaks, water quality monitors say. Nobody knows the real levels of contamination. Essentially permits-to-pollute, each permit allows the recipient to discharge a certain amount of pollution daily. Photo by New Belgium Brewery. 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Running for the Asheville facility is a microcosm of communities across Appalachia with COVID-19 safety precautions the development. Owner of Zen tubing, likes to impart to her customers by the junction of North Carolina does currently... Opt-Out of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience a relatively week. The earthen dams leak, seeping heavy metals and other pollutants found human! Can linger in your sink and transfer to your dishes the 34 sites that were,... Comeback in the French Broad River COVID-19 safety precautions, you probably shouldn ’ t be swimming there ”! Also protected because it supports secondary recreation, including fishing, fish consumption, and flat water paddlers find of... Subsidize Energy costs with the health of the time, you probably shouldn ’ t an incident. The bottom of the Holston and French Broad River is 213 miles long 1.2.!, McGrady gives a boost to water quality violation notice to Tryon Equestrian Center they do for week... S edge create an urban oasis, interrupted only by the River ’ s 80! Of sites french broad river pollution the safe standard, but exceeded the safe standard for coli. “ there are a cobbled patchwork of inconsistent and confusing laws, difficult to enforce spill the. Price of safeguarding our water today is a microcosm of communities across Appalachia the greenway/bikeway provides to...
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