Maryville streams biologists to test in coming months | New

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Biologists under contract with the City of Maryville will be plying the city’s streams over the next several months, making sure they are healthy and well maintained.

Authorities announced this week that the city was conducting a stream survey and stormwater discharge inventory.

Testing will take place in parts of the Brown, Culton, Duncan, Gallagher, Lackey, Laurel Bank, Peppermint, Pistol Creek and Springfield stream watersheds.

This process is one of many requirements for Maryville to obtain its Phase II National Pollution Discharge Disposal System license, the city said in a press release.

The goal is to better understand the health of Maryville’s waterways and to make improvements as needed.

Maryville Stormwater Program Director Dale Jayne said by phone Friday that this test is needed for “entities” classified as having more than 10,000 residents but less than 100,000.

Sampling for this project will test bacteria like E. coli, Jayne added. “One of the things (biologists) is collecting micro- and macro-invertebrates,” he said. “Based on the species they find, this is what helps them determine the quality of the water.

He said he expects the water quality in those areas to be similar to what it was in 2017, the last time this project was carried out.

Since then and over the past 15 years, the laws and discussions of Maryville have helped put in place regulations and controls that keep areas of waterways healthy – known as “watersheds”.

These controls can help prevent the disturbance of streams that occurs over time, for example, with development near a watershed.

“In some cases, they can’t even grow next to the creek,” Jayne said.

Maryville Director of Utilities Angie Luckie also pointed out that projects like this are not about helping the city grow. “It’s a (regulatory) requirement for us to make sure things don’t get worse,” she said.

Fall is a great time to begin stream assessment work as the foliage is waning. While it’s like this, biologists will be digging for erosion of riverbanks, pipes that flow into streams or areas that need to be restored.

In spring 2022, they will sample the watersheds.

All of this will require documentation, depending on the city, and that includes photographs.

The city stressed that these scientists – there will be at least two – are only working to record the state of the rivers. They are not there to “remedy or resolve potential problems,” the press release said.

This is the fourth time that the city has undertaken a watercourse survey. Previous surveys were carried out in 2007, 2012 and 2017.

Follow @arjonesreports on Facebook and Twitter for more from municipal government reporter Andrew Jones.



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