Nose Creek watershed faces health concerns

Floating filth: Litter floats in Nose Creek in Airdrie on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022. Litter has contributed to the unhealthy state of the creek. (Photo by Robin Contos/The Press)

T he health of Nose Creek in Airdrie raises concerns among city workers, council members and residents.

The health of the creek is not ideal, it’s not where it should be,” said Councillor Tina Petrow. Petrow sits on the board of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Sustainability and Environmental Board.

“We’ve put in policies and plans that are going to help to mitigate risks to the creek and help better the environment there. But obviously, we’re not there yet, it’s definitely not an overnight kind of solution,” said Petrow.

According to the updated Nose Creek Watershed Water Management Plan, there are several concerns about the health of the creek. Primarily these concerns revolve around the high level of pollutants including phosphorus, nitrogen, salts, suspended solids, and fecal coliform bacteria.

“Education is key,” said Clint Goodman, cooperate environmental specialist for the City of Airdrie. He spoke to the need for education for residents about the waterbody which runs through the community.

“I think it’s important to learn about water that lands on your property and leaves your property and give consideration to the suitability for the environment,” said Goodman.

Goodman encourages residents to be mindful of the products they are using to wash their vehicles or treat their lawns as these will be carried in run-off to storm drains and can contribute to the pollution in the creek.

Peggy Buzzard stands beside Nose Creek in Airdrie on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022. Buzzard enjoys walking on the paths along the creek. (Photo by Robin Contos/The Press)

A community advocacy group, Save Nose Creek, was recently started. One of their goals is to preserve and protect watershed health. The founder, Andrew Yule was reached out to for comment, but was unavailable.

The health of the creek is not ideal, it’s not where it should be. – Tina Petrow

According to a statement Yule gave to The Airdrie City View in September, Nose Creek is considered only five per cent healthy.

“People who haven’t been on these walking paths recently should go for a few more walks and just see what is in Airdrie and then they would appreciate it more and have more of a desire to take care of it,” said Peggy Buzzard, an Airdrie citizen who enjoys walking near the creek. Buzzard believes that a greater knowledge of the creek would help residents to care for it more.

Although the City of Airdrie is working on developments which will help mitigate risk to Nose Creek’s health deteriorating further, there is much more work to do. Petrow says it is the beginning of a long process.

About Robin Contos 5 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Robin Contos is working as a writer for The Press in 2022-23.