Catawba River Basin

By: Sara Oakman & Jonathan Gmelin

Headwaters and Mouth

The headwaters of the Catawba River Basin are located in the blue ridge mountains in McDowell county. The mouth of this basin are located in Lake Wylie.

Description of River Basin

There are 9,389 miles of streams and rivers in the Catawba River Basin. 1,560,563 people live in this basin. Grandfather Mountain, Linville Falls, Linville gorge, Lake Norman and Charlotte are all located along this river basin

Non-point source pollution:

  • The runoff from herbicides and pesticides off golf courses
  • The runoff of outdoor storage of pesticides and herbicides
  • Mercury contamination from air emissions that precipitate into the water and evaporation as a result of use as cooling water

Point source pollution:

  • 2 high hazard ash ponds located on mountain island lake that provides drinking water to 860,000 people in Charlotte, Gastonia, Matthews, Mint Hill, Mt. Holly and Pineville
  • A large Mountain Island Lake housing development adding sediment around houses finding its way to the lake that provides drinking water for many people

solution to golf course runoff non-point source pollution

Use more health friendly herbicides and pesticides and/or build a drainage system that prevents the contaminated runoff from getting to lakes that provide drinking water

solution to coal-ash ponds point source pollution

Build a dam or drainage system to prevent the overflow of coal-ash ponds to lakes that provide drinking water