Little Lick Creek Watershed Plan

The Public Works Department is working on the Little Lick Creek Watershed Improvement Plan. The City has contracted with Wildlands Engineering to work with the City's Stormwater and GIS Division to prepare an engineering study and assessment of the Little Lick Creek watershed. For information, email Project Manager Sandra Wilbur, or Lance Fontaine.

Do you know YOUR watershed? Use this map of the City's watersheds to see what watershed you are in! Find Your Watershed Map (PDF)

Watershed Assessment Report
The Watershed Assessment Report is an important part of the Watershed Improvement Plan (WIP). This document presents watershed characteristics, summarizes water quality and stream conditions, identifies potential causes of poor water quality, and describes possible opportunities to improve watershed health.

Specifically, the document contains:
  • Watershed characteristics such as hydrology, topography, soils, climate, and land use (Section 2)
  • Existing water quality data (Section 3)
  • Potential sources of pollution and negative impacts to water quality (Section 3)
  • Identification of opportunities to improve water quality and ecological function (Section 4), such as:
    • Stormwater control measure (SCM) retrofits
    • Stream restoration, enhancement, and preservation
    • Improvements to on-site wastewater systems (i.e., septic and discharging sand filter systems)
  • Identification of Pilot Study Areas (PSAs) that will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a variety of water quality improvement measures (Section 5)
  • Discussion of the next steps to complete the WIP (Section 6)

Download the Watershed Assessment Report


Meeting Presentations & Project Status Reports Available for Viewing


Public information sessions are held at key points during the development of each Watershed Improvement Plan. The meetings help the City keep residents informed about the project and allow residents an opportunity to provide important feedback about the project to City staff.

Meeting 1 - May 29, 2014
Meeting 2 - November 12, 2015
Meeting 3 - April 21, 2016
Little Lick Creek Field Assessment
The Stormwater and GIS Services Division (Department of Public Works) conducted an assessment of the Little Lick Creek Watershed through June 2014. An assessment is like a health check-up for a watershed and its streams. This assessment evaluated existing stream conditions and water quality throughout the watershed, and identify potential projects to improve the health of the Little Lick Creek watershed and create value for communities in the watershed.

The Little Lick Creek Watershed Improvement Project is part of the City of Durham’s efforts to improve the health of our creeks and to comply with water quality regulations, and will build further on the 2006 watershed plan (PDF). To learn more about the project and follow its progress, return to this project page often or follow us on Twitter @durhamstormH20 (#littlelickcreek) to receive updates on the project.

Additional Project Information
Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) (PDF) can be physical devices (e.g. stormwater ponds) or activities (e.g. picking up pet waste) that protect the environment from stormwater pollution. SCMs can be used to prevent, reduce or offset stormwater runoff and pollution. They are also referred to as “Best Management Practices” or BMPs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines BMPs as “techniques, measures or structural controls that are used to manage the quantity and improve the quality of storm water runoff in the most cost-effective manner.” Download the Little Lick Creek Local Watershed Plan 2006 (PDF).