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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Water Quality - Cotton Creek

Water Quality

Cotton Creek Watershed

Cotton Creek watershed is located at the border of Montgomery and Moore counties.   The creek’s headwaters originate in the towns of Star and Biscoe and the creek eventually joins Cabin Creek.   Although the headwaters are suburban/urban, much of the watershed is comprised of agriculture and forest.  The entire stream is impaired for benthos, except the most downstream segment that is again supporting an aquatic community after being impaired.  Since 1984, benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring indicated that Cotton Creek had impaired biological integrity from its source to its confluence with Cabin Creek.   Actions coordinated by the Fayetteville Regional Office (FRO) have contributed to the improvement measured on the most downstream segment.  Through enforcement and watershed activities, benthic macroinvertebrate communities are making a come back.   Specific actions taken in the watershed include: 

  • Working with Star WWTP in helping them to improve their wastewater discharge.  Star’s Whole Effluent Toxicity Testing has greatly improved over the past five years. 
  • Conducting physical/chemical monitoring at 12 stations throughout the Cotton Creek watershed and streamwalking much of the watershed to assist in identifying sources of water quality problems. 
  • Partnering with agencies such as the Montgomery County Soil and Water Conservation District and the US Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service to help facilitate communication with landowners and encourage them to implement agricultural best management practices and assist in identifying potential urban management measure locations. 
  • Working with the Montgomery County Health Department in having straight pipes that were identified during streamwalks removed and also septic systems repaired.

There are still water quality concerns in the watershed that will require continued monitoring and cooperation with other agencies.

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