Land that drains into Crooked Creek is known as its watershed. The Crooked Creek watershed is in the southern portion of the city. Its boundaries are close to Fayetteville Street to the west and north, Barbee Road to the east, and Herndon Road to the south. Crooked Creek is also known as Southwest Creek. Crooked Creek is one of the smaller watersheds in the City of Durham.
Water from Crooked Creek flows into Jordan Lake. From there it flows into the Haw River and then to the Cape Fear River. This river is the only one in North Carolina that empties directly into the Atlantic Ocean.
There are many ways for you to help protect the health of Crooked Creek. Adopt a stormdrain in the watershed or volunteer to label storm drains. There are also 2 major stream clean-ups each year. Big Sweep is in October, and Creek Week is every March. Email the public education coordinator for details.
You can also join some of the many groups dedicated to protecting the health of our rivers and streams. The Haw River Assembly is active in this watershed.
The health and cleanliness of the watershed are reported in Durham’s State of Our Streams Report. In 2021, Crooked Creek received a score of 78. This is equal to a grade of "C". This is up from a score of 75 in 2019.
Water from Crooked Creek flows into Jordan Lake. Jordan Lake has recently had problems with algae caused by extra nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphorus). The state has created a plan, also called a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), to help reduce the nutrients in the lake. Because of this, the city also carefully tracks nutrients in Crooked Creek.
Water Pollution Investigations
4 sources of pollution were investigated and eliminated during the 2021 reporting year. These investigations were related to:
Erosion and sediment discharges
Septic system discharges
Private sanitary system discharges
Public sanitary system discharges
Watershed Improvement Plan
The Public Works Department is working on the Northeast Creek and Crooked Creek Watershed Management Implementation Project. The city has contracted with Brown and Caldwell Environmental Engineers to work with the city’s Engineering and Stormwater Services Division to prepare an engineering study and assessment of the Northeast Creek and Crooked Creek watersheds. Learn more about the watershed improvement plan.
Watch past video summaries of the health of Crooked Creek: