Antelope Creek Watershed Basin Management Plan
The City of Lincoln and Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (NRD) are working with a project team of scientists and engineers to establish the Antelope Creek Watershed Basin Management Plan (Basin Plan).
What is the concern with Antelope Creek?
Levels of E. Coli bacteria and ammonia in Antelope Creek could pose a threat to public health and safety if actions are not taken to improve the water quality.
The water quality in a stretch of Antelope Creek starting at the outlet of Holmes Lake Dam and extending to Salt Creek (see figure), contains elevated levels of E. Coli bacteria, ammonia, and other contaminants that are considered to cause impairments to everyday uses of the creek. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ), as required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has listed Antelope Creek on the State list, known as the 303(d) list. These contaminants may pose a public health and safety risk.
What is being done to improve the water quality?
The Basin Plan will serve as a road map for actions to improve the water quality in the creek in order to potentially remove it from the NDEQ 303(d) impaired waters listing . Improved water quality in the Antelope Creek will lead to improved public health, safety, and welfare as well as increased aesthetics and other natural benefits to Antelope Creek and adjacent areas.
Project Area Demographics
48,500 full time residents and 8,500 UNL students live and work within the Antelope Creek Basin.
How is the Basin Plan different than the Antelope Valley Project?
The Basin Plan focuses on improvement of water quality in the creek through reduction of pollutants in stormwater runoff. The Antelope Valley Project focused on infrastructure improvements to reduce the threat of flooding in the City, improve transportation, and create recreational and economic development opportunities. Other master plans completed by the City and NRD have focused on drainage, stream bank erosion, and protection of property and infrastructure from flooding, as well as water quality.
What will the Basin Plan do to improve water quality?
The Basin Plan will serve as a tool for the City and NRD staff, as well as other planning and design engineers, to proactively forecast, evaluate, and manage stormwater quality impacts. The plan will identify and manage stormwater quality issues associated with existing and future re-development of the City through identification of structural and non-structural Best Management Practices (BMPs) in specific areas in the Basin designed to reduce pollutants.
Who is paying for the Basin Plan and when will it be complete?
The City of Lincoln and Lower Platte South NRD are splitting the cost of the Basin Plan. The project began in May 2010 and is anticipated to be complete by September 2011. The Basin Plan will help the City and NRD when applying for Federal and State funds to assist with design and construction costs necessary in order to implement solutions identified in the plan.
What are possible ways to improve water quality?
Water quality can be improved through both structural and non-structural solutions. Some examples of structural solutions include:
- rain gardens
- hydrodynamic separators
- wetland areas
- sand filters
- grassed buffers/bio-retention
- channel stability
- pervious pavement
- Silva Cells
- rain barrels
- infiltration basins
Non-structural solutions, many of which are being implemented in Lincoln, may include programs within the basin to encourage activities such as:
- cleaning up after pets
- use of low phosphorus or phosphorus free fertilizers
- use of phosphate-free detergents for washing vehicles
- sweeping excess fertilizers from paved areas
- cleaning up gutters, sidewalks, and driveways
- proper disposal of household hazardous waste
- storm drain stencilling
- street sweeping