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The Haw River Assembly turns 35!

The Haw River Assembly started back in 1982 and we’ve been going strong ever since! We have over a thousand members and volunteers that live in the 8 counties that are part of our watershed – Guilford, Rockingham, Caswell, Alamance, Orange, Chatham, Durham and Wake (and a tiny bit of Forsyth where the headwater springs start).  We are a leading advocacy voice for clean water and stronger protections for the Haw River and Jordan Lake and all the tributaries that feed them.  Volunteers help us put on an annual river program for 4th graders, take part in our stream monitoring project, clean up trash from our streams and much more.  Our 35th year comes at a time when the challenges of protecting the river will be made harder by a federal government that has vowed to weaken environmental regulations and agencies. We won’t back down in our work for clean water, and we hope you will join us!

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Donate to HRA, Celebrating our 35th Anniversary

Help us meet our goal of $35,000 in our 35th year of protecting and defending the river.
Simply click the Donate button below to give any amount you choose to HRA.





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Update on 1,4-Dioxane in Haw River

And in Pittsboro’s drinking water

The Haw River Assembly continues to be concerned about the presence of 1,4-Dioxane in Pittsboro’s drinking water, which it takes from the Haw River.  1,4-Dioxane is an industrial solvent that has been entering the Haw River via upriver municipal wastewater treatment plants for many years. Monitoring by scientists has shown it to be in high levels in the Haw River. Traditional treatment methods for drinking water do not remove this contaminant.  There has recently been some progress in the reduction of the contamination in the river, and in a decision by the Town of  Pittsboro to upgrade its treatment methods.

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(Dr. Knappe and students taking samples of Haw River water from Bynum Bridge)

Dr. Detlef Knappe of NC State University presented his latest research  on this industrial solvent, to Pittsboro’s Board of Commissioners on Mon. Nov. 28. Latest data shows that the level in  PIttsboro’s drinking water, (which uses the Haw River as its source) is  now at lower levels, though still too high according to new EPA guidance.  It appears  that the spotlight on this issue has resulted in lower amounts being flushed by industries into upriver wastewater treatment systems. More needs to be done to stop this pollution at the source, but in the meantime Pittsboro has decided to safeguard its drinking water by adding activated carbon to the treatment methods, which will better protect public health. Read more on this issue in “Tainted Waters“,  in NC Health News

Factsheet about 1,4-Dioxane online.at the EPA website.

 

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New Guide to Lower Haw River State Natural Area

The Haw River Assembly has published a guide to access areas and natural history for the beautiful public NC State Park  lands along the Haw River in Chatham County. Download a copy of it at:

Brochure on Lower Haw River State Natural Area (map and nature guide)

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Sludge in Our Waters

“Sludge In Our Waters” is a new report that investigates how industrial chemicals in some municipal wastewater sewage sludge applied to farmland are contaminating surface waters in North Carolina.  Drinking water sources downstream from these sludge fields are at risk.  Case studies in Chatham, Orange and Mecklenberg counties document this problem.

Sludge in our Waters

Elaine Chiosso, Haw Riverkeeper and Sam Perkins, Catawba Riverkeeper are the co-authors.  Accompanying the report is a new mapping tool that shows locations of permitted sludge fields in North Carolina; the map also has an overlay of river basins and other features. The report is intended to inform the public and policy makers about the potential pathways to human and environmental contamination from sludge applications,with recommendations for changing our current practices.

Read the Press Release here.

 

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Saxapahaw - transformation of a mill village on the Haw

Mac Jordan, grandson of B. Everett Jordan (mill owner and  US Senator) grew up in Saxapahaw and has been the guiding force behind the village’s transformation from mill  village to a thriving arts, food  and music community.  He presented a slide show at our Annual Meeting on Nov. 2, 2014 that captures the past and present in photos. Click on this link to view:  SaxapahawHRA2014

Picture1Another look at  history, conservation and tourism can be seen in a video created by Elon University students, Haw River  Then and Now  http://www.cdonohue.com/haw-river-then-now/

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