Water quality in the Lewis & Clark Natural Resources District is becoming an issue.
“In recent years, we have been seeing an increase of nitrates in the ground water in the Bazile Creek watershed and also in central Cedar and Knox counties. We started wondering what’s going on with our surface water,” said Annette Sudbeck, the district’s general manager.
Officials from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, the Lewis & Clark NRD and FYRA Engineering of Omaha presented the initial groundwork for a water quality management plan at meeting Tuesday here.
The Bow Creek watershed in Cedar County has had a pollution of E. coli recently and in the Creighton area, Howe Creek and Bazile Creek have had high levels of nitrogen, phosphorous or E. coli.
Because of the size of the Lewis & Clark NRD — around 1 million acres with 20 communities, a population of 15,000, one reservation, 11 streams and five lakes — collecting the information for the basis of a management plan has been a considerable process.