Soil that drains from hillsides into streams,
called sediment, can contribute to nonpoint
source pollution, also called polluted runoff. This story shows
It was the middle of
February. Woodlands had been cleared to make pastures for livestock
on some hills beside Pine Creek. The hills were then seeded with grass.
This view of the pastures is seen
by looking toward the west from Highway 181 between Zanoni and Sycamore.
With early spring rain to water it, the new grass covered the hills
like a green mist.
Then heavy rains fell
on the already wet soil. The grass was too young. It hadn't had time
to put down enough roots to keep the soil from washing away.
The rain washed some of the soil into Pine Creek, clouding it with
sediment. This picture was taken from the bridge at Highway 181.
Right across the road, the spillway from this pond
flows nice and clear. The water comes from Zanoni Spring.
You can see the difference between
the clear spring water coming from Zanoni Spring pond and the water
that has drained off the hillsides into Pine Creek.
Here's Pine Creek flowing under the bridge.
What happened? The hills have lost soil. The word
for this is erosion. The stream has been
clouded by sediment. This is a kind of
pollution. The farmer didn't want to lose soil or pollute the stream.
The farmer simply wanted to grow more food for the cows that live
on the farm. So long as humans work the soil, these remain hard
problems to solve.
What are some things that might be done to make this