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Conservation district builds stream bed in Carpenter Run against further erosion

By Staff | Apr 29, 2015

PENNSDALE – On Wednesday, April 15, log hemlock structures in Carpenter Run were built by the Lycoming County Conservation District to help prevent erosion of the creek bank and guide the water flow in Muncy Township.

It is part of a stream restoration project of an 11-member regional partnership with the state Department of Environmental Protection to improve water quality.

Carpenter Run had become impaired because livestock from local farmers went directly to the creek’s edge to drink. The weight of the animals walking along the creek bank eroded the bank. Animals would end up drinking water they sullied themselves. It was harmful for the creek and the animals.

“I think the local farmers knew it needed to be done,” said Tim Heyler, Lycoming County agricultural conservation technician.

Members of the Lycoming County Conservation District teamed up with a construction crew and Lycoming County Pre-Release Center workers to build 10 log deflectors, five log cross-veins, a livestock stream access point and a stabilized animal walkway.

Minimizing the animal access helps the animals and the water.

“It’s an opportunity to control animal access, thereby helping to improve water quality. When animals have full access to the stream, the banks are more prone to being disturbed and eroded into the water. It’s also a potential opportunity to have more nutrient issues in the water,” said Mark Davidson, Lycoming County conservation district manager.

The log structures, made of hemlock and pinned together, direct water flow. Log cross-veins installed across the stream bed also help stabilize the bank, according to Davidson.

“The primary focus will be water quality improvement. You can contribute that to less erosion, less sediment and less nutrients in the stream. The buffers will provide some nesting areas and travel corridors, but the primary focus is water quality,” Davidson said.

They chose to do logs instead of using rock riprapping, which entails lining the stream bank with large rocks.

Habitats for insects are vital for life in the stream since most insects will not survive polluted waters, so helping the water quality will help the ecosystem thrive.

The creek is a warm-water fishery, and although it won’t be home to trout, more fish life in it will improve the environment. The improved water quality especially helps out the local farmers near Carpenter Run.

The barn directly next to Carpenter Run, particularly the shed, has taken damage from water erosion. With the new system, it will help the water flow away from the bank, helping the life of the barn and shed.

There are plans to plant more vegetation along the bank of the creek in the future.