Big Elm Creek, a major tributary of Little River, is impaired for not meeting the recreational standard for E. coli as well as having elevated levels of chlorophyll-a, nitrate, depressed dissolved oxygen, orthophosphorus and total phosphorus, which could potentially hinder aquatic life.
Development of the Big Elm Creek Watershed Protection Plan was initiated in the fall of 2018. This was a stakeholder driven process, and facilitated by TWRI. The final draft plan was accepted by the EPA in February 2021, and implementation of the plan has started.
This project focuses on addressing the E. coli impairment within the Big Elm Creek watershed by supplementing an existing dataset with bacteria and flow data for later decision making by stakeholders. A local stakeholder group was formed to determine the goals, objectives and indicators for addressing the water quality impairments and concerns within the watersheds.