December Big Splash

Paddlers on Gills Creek near Timberlane Drive. Photo by JoAnn Johnson.
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Upcoming Events

December 14, 3-4:30
GCWA Technical Committee Meeting (Owens Field Airport)

December 15, 2-4
Owens Field Green Infrastructure Site Visit (Owens Field Park)
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Owens Field Green Infrastructure Site Visit

Join the Gills Creek Watershed Association on Thursday, December 15 at 2pm at Owens Field Park in Columbia to see the construction of two examples of large scale green infrastructure. In partnership with Richland County, the City of Columbia, and DHEC, GCWA is installing two bioretention cells to filter and infiltrate stormwater runoff from the surrounding neighborhood. The cells are still under construction so this field visit is intended to give participants a chance to see how green infrastructure is designed and built. The designer, Betsy Kaemmerlen (Fuss and O’Neill) and construction supervisors Jason Prouse and Tyrone Wilson (Hammer Construction) will be on hand to answer questions about the design and construction process. Continuing education credits are available. Contact Erich Miarka for more information and to RSVP.

Pen Branch Monitoring

On November 17th the GCWA sampled a section of Pen Branch using the Adopt-a-Stream program. E Coli. bacteria results came back at a high level; 1000cfu(colony forming units per 100mL of water). This greatly exceeds the state standard of 349cfu for a single sample. Fecal coliform and E. Coli in our surface waters can lead to human health issues if we come into direct contact with that water. The City of Columbia has been notified of the high bacteria count. There are many factors that can contribute to high levels of bacteria and this is only one sample. We will continue monitoring Pen Branch using the Adopt-a-Stream program. If you are interested in monitoring another section of creek or lake, visit our website for more information on the program. It is a free program and all materials and supplies are provided by the Association. Results for Pen Branch and other sites across South Carolina and Georgia can be viewed on the Adopt-a-Stream website.

Stream Restoration Project Wins Award

A stream restoration project on Little Jackson Creek, a tributary to Gills Creek, recently won an Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of North Carolina, where the lead engineering firm (WK DIckson) is based. Little Jackson Creek runs parallel to Two Notch Road near the Spring Valley neighborhood. Copious amounts of stormwater runoff from the businesses on the other side Two Notch are directed into Little Jackson Creek, causing severe erosion and sedimentation downstream. The project regraded the stream bed and installed a 'regenerative stormwater conveyance' that acts as a drop-pool system to dissipate energy and remove sediment and other pollutants from the water. Several acres of surrounding wetlands were also restored and reconnected to the improved Little Jackson Creek. You can read the full story here.
The Gills Creek Watershed Association works to restore and protect Gills Creek and its tributaries through key public and private partnerships.
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