Location: Buncombe County, NC: Leicester Community, Patton Avenue, West Asheville
Smith Mill Creek Watershed is approximately 3274 acres (5.1 sq. miles) in Buncombe County, NC. The headwaters drain the southeastern slopes of Spivey Mountain. This area is moderately rural, yet less than 15 miles from downtown Asheville. Within 3 miles of the headwaters, the watershed becomes increasingly urban as it flows along New Leicester Hwy (NC Hwy 63), then under and parallel to Patton Ave (NC Hwy 23), the most commercialized road in Asheville. Smith Mill Creek continues through Crown Plaza Resort before entering the French Broad River in the River Arts District of Asheville. In 2001, it was termed the most polluted creek in Buncombe County, based on chemical and macroinvertebrate water quality monitoring conducted by the Volunteer Water Information Network (VWIN) Program. A map of the Smith Mill Creek Watershed can be viewed here.
RiverLink is taking a watershed-wide approach to improving the water quality in the Smith Mill Creek Watershed. In partnership with Wildlands Engineering, RiverLink has completed a 9-element Watershed Plan in the form of a web tool for the Smith Mill Creek Watershed. See plan here.
The nine key elements of our plan, that are critical for achieving improvements in water quality as identified by the EPA include:
As a result of the plan, we were able to:
This project was funded by a Clean Water Management Trust Fund grant and developed in partnership with the City of Asheville Stormwater Services Department and NC Department of Transportation. In the future, we will continue to work to implement the proposed projects with funding support from NCDOT, the City of Asheville, and other grant sources.
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