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Water Quality Improvements in Charlotte/Mecklenburg: Planning, Implementation, and Ongoing Opportunities

  • 23 Aug 2012
  • 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Dilworth Grille, 911 E Morehead St #200, Charlotte, NC


  • Baker
    WK Dickson
  • for government employees only
  • includes $25 membership through August 31, 2012
  • no plans to be a member of NCAEP

Registration is closed

Come join us in Charlotte, NC to learn about efforts to improve water quality. We will have four speakers presenting on the following:

City of Charlotte Umbrella Mitigation Bank

Jarrod Karl, City of Charlotte Storm Water Services


The City of Charlotte’s Umbrella Stream and Wetland Mitigation bank, established in 2004, was the first municipal mitigation bank in the State of North Carolina and the largest program of its kind in the State.  The bank was created as a way to ensure that mitigation for impacts to waters of the U.S. is done locally, rather than in rural areas of the same watershed.  In the eight years that the bank has been operating, nearly 50,000 feet of streams and 10 acres of wetland have been restored, enhanced or preserved for mitigation credit.  Despite the weak economy, the bank continues to grow and provide opportunities for consultants and contractors that are willing to accept the challenge of urban stream restoration.



McDowell Creek Watershed Management Plan

David Kroening, LG, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services

The McDowell Creek Watershed is located in northwest Mecklenburg County and drains portions of the Towns of Huntersville and Cornelius.  McDowell Creek empties into Mountain Island Lake at McDowell Creek Cove, which is just upstream of the main Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities drinking water intake.  As such, most of the watershed has been designated as Water Supply, which requires new development to observe certain impervious, buffer and storm water detention requirements.  McDowell Creek Cove has some of the worst water quality conditions of any of the reservoirs (Lake Norman, Mountain Island Lake and Lake Wylie) comprising Mecklenburg County’s western border.  McDowell Creek has been listed by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources as being biologically impaired, which means that populations of aquatic insects are not diverse and/or plentiful.  Because of the degraded conditions in McDowell Creek and McDowell Creek Cove, a proactive Water Quality Ordinance was developed and implemented by the Town of Huntersville, which places strict storm water runoff treatment requirements on all new development.  The ordinance was designed to prevent continued degradation of the creek and cove, however, pre-existing sources of pollution from development that occurred prior to the implementation of the Water Quality Ordinance was not mitigated.  In order to address the pre-existing sources of pollution watershed management efforts, including production of this Watershed Management Plan, have been undertaken.  Already, several cooperative efforts between public and private interests have resulted in several Best Management Practice (BMP) retrofit projects as well as the restoration of many miles of McDowell Creek and its tributaries.

Torrence Creek, Torrence Creek Tributary #2, and Torrence Creek Tributary #1 Stream Restoration

Jason Claudio-Diaz, PE, CFM, Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.


Kimley-Horn was selected to complete a feasibility study and construction documents for the restoration of 7,600 linear feet of Torrence Creek from McCoy Road to the confluence with McDowell Creek, and 8,200 linear feet of Torrence Creek Tributary #2 from I-77 to the confluence with Torrence Creek.  Design challenges included no-rise requirements from FEMA, sediment transport considerations due to a high volume of sand and silt from contributing reaches, a wooded corridor, and multiple utility crossings and adjacent parallel lines.  Construction on these reaches was completed in 2010.

After the completion of the aforementioned project, Kimley-Horn was retained to complete a feasibility study and construction documents for the restoration of 11,000 linear feet of Torrence Creek Tributary #1.  This project also needed to meet the requirement of a no-rise flood impact, but it called for a different design approach.  The project included several public outreach meetings with homeowners adjacent to the creek, and tree saves were a major priority per their input.  Construction began in May 2012 and is scheduled to be completed in March 2013. 

Torrence Creek at The Park: Design Case Study

Emily G. Reinicker, PE, CFM, Wildlands Engineering, Inc. 

Building on Kimley Horn’s successful stream work along Torrence Creek at the Bradford Hill Greenway, Wildlands Engineering was selected to complete a feasibility study and construction documents for 4,100 linear feet of Torrence Creek and a tributary that flow through The Park commercial business park site in Huntersville, NC.  This reach of stream is immediately upstream of Kimley-Horn’s project that was constructed in 2010.  Reach 1 of the project is tightly constrained and will be enhanced within the existing channel.  A landscaped look is planned for this higher profile reach.  Reach 2 flows through a wooded wetland area and will allow for a meandering restoration approach. 

Design challenges have included maintaining consistency with The Park’s established landscape palette, a sanitary sewer crossing at bed grade dictating profile elevation, and sediment transport considerations for a channel with a high volume sand load.  Permitting challenges have included no-rise requirements for the FEMA floodplain and reconciling floodplain grading with wetlands previously verified in 2004.  The project is currently in final design and scheduled to go to bid and construction this fall.  Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services with the Town of Huntersville have funded design and a Clean Water Management Trust Fund grant will help to fund construction.


DATE:  23 August 2012
           Social Hour starting at 5 PM
           Dinner at 6 PM
           Speakers at ~6:30 PM

LOCATION:  Dilworth Grille
                   911 E. Morehead St., #200
                   Charlotte, NC 28204

PO Box #17512
Raleigh, NC 27619

NCAEP is registered 501(c)3 non-profit that promotes excellence in the environmental profession through events and scholarships.

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