Thursday, December 22, 2011

Black Creek Harbors Black Sheep of Pee Dee Country

By: Duane Craig

The Northeastern region of South Carolina is home to the Great Pee Dee River, and a little tributary to it called, Black Creek. Black Creek has a problem with fecal coliform bacteria going back to 2000 and has been on the state's 303(d) list of impaired water bodies, according to this article in
Now, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control -- it's interesting how some states approach the environment from a "control" perspective while others use words like "conservation," "quality" and "protection" in their environmental agency names -- will be filing a total maximum daily load report, or TMDL, after taking comments for 30 days. The TMDL spells out the remedies needed to fix the problem.

Fecal Coliform contamination in Black Creek

The creek's water level is lower than in previous times because of development, drought and water use. That means there is not as much volume to dilute the pollution that flows into it from onsite septic systems, a wastewater treatment plant and runoff from farms.

Black Creek is an important part of the environment that makes this part of South Carolina unique. Called Pee Dee Country, the seven county region is home to not just the Pee Dee rivers but also the Darlington Raceway and a wealth of outdoor activities and tourist hot spots, according to the Pee Dee Tourism Commission.

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