Kump Education Center

Kump Education Center
401 Randolph Avenue
P.O. Box 1106
Elkins, WV 26241

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May 17, 2014

Water monitoring at Kump Center

by Dr. Healther Biola, Kump Education Center Executive Director

In collaboration with Trout Unlimited members, the Kump Center volunteers are planning to start monitoring water in Goddin Creek at the wetland area across Randolph Avenue from Kroger.

West Virginia Water Quality Monitoring Coordinator Jamie Holmes has agreed to bring equipment Saturday, May 24 to help examine the condition of the water beginning at 9 a.m. The public is welcome to observe this process.

Water quality and the lay of the land have changed radically over the last 200 years, and Goddin Creek has not been a good trout stream for most of that time. The old creek ran through a field near Goddin Inn on Seneca Road during the Civil War period. It flowed through a rolling pasture in the middle of the 11 acre Kump Farm before US 33 cut through the farm in 1939.

Human history takes its toll on water quality. Over the last 75 years the hillside has been cut away for commercial development along US 33, and rainwater runoff has poured down the muddy banks behind Hiawatha, Par Mar and Kentucky Fried Chicken. The water has run across oily blacktopped parking lots, through culverts under the highway, and into the pasture where horses once grazed. The eroded area is now a swamp.

Obviously water samples taken along Goddin Creek will not be as pristine as water from Seneca Creek near Onego, where trout and many other delicate life form live. Nonetheless, our wetland is, as we say, a liver for the river. In other words, it offers ground where the water can purge itself, and we need to begin to know what is in this water so near the source of our drinking water.

Pam Byrne and Jane Birdsong, the local Trout Unlimited members who took me to Seneca Creek, have agreed to help us continue to monitor water at Kump Center. Each time we will measure the size of the stream at various points. We will take readings of the temperature, conductivity, and pH of the water, and we will look at the turbidity or amount of sediment in the water.

We want to understand the future impact on water made by the changes we are making on the land now for the sustainability of both water and land resources.