Kump Center works with water quality

ELKINS – Trout Unlimited volunteers Pam Byrne and Jane Birdsong examined water conditions in Goddin Creek at Kump Center in late May. They tested the water in order to begin monitoring the impact of changes that are taking place on the property in the near future.

Botanist Alyssa Hanna has planted 1,000 wetland plants to help improve water quality and channel the stream. These plants and trees include alders, button bush, elderberries, pin oaks, poplars, and willows.

Now that we know a wetland area serves as a liver for the river, Kump Center volunteers are anxious to start tracking water quality measures. Heavy rains cause rapid changes in Goddin Creek when water rushes down the hills, over businesses parking lots, under the highways and into the old Kump pasture. If a hard rain hits for a few hours, a lake develops quickly and the water is muddy.

The Trout Unlimited monitoring kit provides measures for stream size, temperature, conductivity, turbidity and pH factor. The following table offers a comparison between water at Seneca Creek on White ‘s Run Road near Onego tested April 19 and water at Goddin Creek tested in Elkins on May 24. As you would expect, the trout stream has better water condition than the urban creek; however, Goddin Creek is healthy enough to offer a home for ducks, fish and a host of macro-invertebrate animals.

Now we have a baseline reading of water quality before the driveway construction began. Although we have a silt fence, we expect more sediment in the water after bulldozing the land until seeds take root to hold the dirt. Sediment affects the conductivity levels.