Gary and Scott,
Excellent piece on the history and current state of this forlorn little stream. I just wanted to add some technical information on your statement regarding where water in Nonconnah Creek goes:
"Very important sand. This far east, one layer of our sandy water table actually meets the surface, instead of hiding under several hundred feet of protective clay, like it does in town. Whatever goes into this sand in eastern Shelby and western Fayette counties goes directly into our water supply."
Our studies at the University of Memphis of Nonconnah Creek in 2005 between Winchester Rd and Getwell Rd. indicate a conservative estimate of 0.7 million gallons per day on average of stream discharge is lost to ground water. Ground-water age and chemical data from the shallow and Memphis aquifers in the vicinity of the Sheahan well field indicate that this water infiltrates into our municipal water supply within 18 to 32 years. So, ground-water from the Memphis aquifer in the Sheahan well field that we sampled in 2007 was floating down Nonconnah Creek more recently than 1975. Nonconnah Creek is not the only "big loser" in the County, both the Wolf River and Fletcher Creek show clear evidence of discharge loss. It is time to take a more holistic view of our water supplies in the Memphis area and realize that both surface and ground-water need to be protected - its ultimately all the same water!
By Toby Sells
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