Fayetteville Public Works Commission passed a resolution Wednesday, recognizing Sept. 24 through 30 as Source Water Protection Week, urging all citizens to join in supporting this observance.
During the meeting, PWC staff shared the importance of PWC’s watershed program as a critical component of protecting Fayetteville’s drinking water source.
A watershed is an area of land that drains surface water into a common body of water. Here in Fayetteville, the watershed directly impacts the Little Cross Creek and Glenville Lake, a source of Fayetteville’s drinking water. The Little Cross Creek Watershed area runs from the northwest corner of Fayetteville, near the I-295/Bragg Boulevard and Murchison Road interchanges to the Glenville Lake, off Filter Plant Drive near Fayetteville State University. It includes Bonnie Doone Lake, Shaw Pond, Kornbow Lake, Clark’s Pond, Mintz Pond and Glenville Lake.
PWC manages nearly 3,000 acres of forested land that buffers Fayetteville’s water supply watershed lakes by reducing the amount of pollutants that enter the source water. The management of the land that makes up the PWC Watershed area is extremely important because it improves the quality of our drinking water, decreases treatment costs at our water plants and improves the health of both the general public and aquatic ecosystem.
“PWC provides water services to over 225,000 citizens in Fayetteville and Cumberland County, including the Town of Hope Mills, Spring Lake, Stedman and Fort Liberty,” PWC Chair Ronna Garrett said. “I am proud of the ongoing work of PWC staff to protect our watershed, and ultimately protecting our drinking water that is essential to preserving our own health and economy, and that of future generations.”
During the presentation, Water Resources Environmental Programs Manager Rhonda Locklear demonstrated the importance of the watersheds with an exhibit that compared water that flows through a well-vegetated and maintained watershed buffer to that of one that lacks vegetation and maintenance. Without the protection of the watershed buffer, the drinking water supply is at extreme risk from pollution and contaminants that can make the source water unsuitable for use as a drinking water supply.
In addition to its important role in protecting our drinking water, the Little Cross Creek Watershed also includes areas listed in the North Carolina Registry of Natural Heritage Areas and have highly significant natural features critical to the preservation of North Carolina’s natural diversity. For example, the 262-acre area surrounding Bonnie Doone Lake boasts the largest old-growth Long Leaf Pine stand remaining in North Carolina, as well as one of less than a dozen enduring in the southeast.
“While Source Water Protection Week increases the awareness of protecting our source water, it is critical that we all do our part each and every day by being good stewards of the environment, help reduce pollution and educate others of the importance this vital resource,” Garrett said.
Citizens can learn more about Fayetteville’s Watershed management at Watershed Management | FAYPWC.COM : FAYPWC.COM