FLORENCE, Ky. - The I-TEAM investigated deicing fluid run-off from the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport into area creeks, which made it difficult for mother nature to flourish. Action was taken resurrect the waterways back to life. Now the Boone County Conservation District is putting to use, an $835,000 grant from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Kentucky Division of Water to keep Gunpowder Creek safe from other possible pollutants.
Conservation worker, Mark Jacobs, treaded down to the creek on a brush lined path from Oakbrook Park. He has been coming to this section of the creek for the past year to look for certain signs of life and to collect water.
"We'll take a lot of samples in different areas throughout the stream," said Jacobs. "We'll send that actually to a lab."
The findings have been disappointing. E-coli and high levels of other nutrients are present, but that was during one of the wettest years on record for the area. This year, the group hopes that the weather cooperates so "dryer" samples can be harvested along the 57 square mile waterway.
The testing is important to keep the area clean. Jacobs also observes if the banks of the creek expand or contract. Those are signs that water shedding from streets, neighborhoods, and farms could need to be re-engineered for a more stream friendly draining of storm water.
While the creek is no imminent danger to people or itself right now, Jacobs did suggest that when fishing, wading or playing in the creek that it is important to wash yourself properly to prevent getting sick.
"Fifty percent of the population in Boone county lives around the Gunpowder Creek watershed," said Jacobs.
"One thing I would avoid is [wading] right after rains, because that's when a lot of this stuff tends to get washed in," said Jacobs. "Just be aware of what's going on in your area. I mean if somebody is dumping something here or there. What does the water look like, does it smell like."
Follow reporter Tony Mirones on Twitter: @TMironesWCPO
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