WK Dickson wins engineering excellence award for unique macroinvertebrate habitat project

February 8th, 2017

WK Dickson has received an Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of North Carolina for their work on the Smith Creek Benthic Macroinvertebrate Habitat Enhancement Project in Wake Forest, North Carolina.IMG_4530

In 2008, Smith Creek, a Neuse River tributary, was added to the 303(d) list of impaired waters because of its “Fair” 2006 benthic macroinvertebrate sampling results. In 2012, WK Dickson began work on the Smith Creek Watershed Management Plan (WMP) which included a detailed evaluation of water quality and aquatic habitat conditions throughout the watershed. As part of the WMP, WK Dickson began three years of benthic sampling at three sites, one of which is at the location that originally resulted in the 2008 impairment listing.

Based on the findings of the initial water quality and benthic sampling, and the analysis and rating of stream and aquatic habitat conditions throughout the study area, WK Dickson scientists identified both enhancement and reference sites. Ultimately, WK Dickson created an innovative approach to inexpensively enhance watershed conditions, while providing valuable public education related to the importance of local ordinances and land use to water quality.

This project with the Town of Wake Forest is one of the first of its kind and allowed the Town to continue its goal of having Smith Creek delisted from the State’s 303 (d) list, while also creating a valuable educational opportunity for local citizens. Holly Miller, PE, CPESC, CFM, the Town’s Assistant Engineer, stated it best, “The Sanford Creek Habitat Restoration project and the overall Smith Creek Watershed Project are outstanding examples of the dedication and determination of a firm [WK Dickson] to push the envelope into unchartered territory to improve the environment. Their knowledge and depth of stream restoration and assistance with public involvement has been an excellent asset to the Town.”

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