Lincoln’s Antelope Creek cleaner than ever

Posted By: Alden German

One of the most popular areas in the capitol city, antelope valley, is a scenic place for a run, but for years the water that ran through it was dirty and unhealthy.

Now, Antelope Creek is cleaner than it ever has been before thanks in part to Lincolnites.

“If you’ve ever wondered if your small actions on a daily basis make a difference, think about Antelope Creek and all of the small actions and what they accumulated to,” said Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler.

Antelope Creek is one of only 90 creeks in the nation to be removed from the federal Impaired Waters list in the past 15 years. Less than 15 of them are in urban areas.

The creek was first added to the list in 2004 because of E. coli levels that were 25 times federal water quality standard.

For nearly 20 years the city has worked to improve the water infrastructure.

“Since 2004 we’ve executed about 15 storm water quality improvement projects and two major flood control projects all related to this stream,” said Mayor Beutler.

As a result of the improvements, nearly one thousand homes and 330 businesses are less likely to be impacted by flooding.

Antelope creek is not the first area body of water to be removed from the list.

“These de–listings, they’re really tough. They don’t happen very often and here we are two in a row, within a couple of months; Shell Creek and now Antelope,” said Jim Macy of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.

Holmes Lake was also taken off the list in 2008. The city says this makes for a safer, cleaner environment.

“Residents who come in contact with Antelope Creek won’t have much to worry about as far as E. coli infections are concerned,” said Mayor Beutler. “Pets are safer if they accidentally drink from the stream.”

The installation of over one hundred rain gardens, in addition to re-landscaping and other sustainable projects, have helped because it allows water more time to filter harmful materials naturally.

Mayor Beutler says although the process to reach this point was difficult and time consuming, preserving our environmental resources is important for future generations.

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