Four Projects on Fourth Creek

By Hallie Carde

Bob and Jill Kinser claim to have the best water around, and they’re quick to offer a glass to anyone to prove it. In fact, the only thing more apparent than the Kinsers’ hospitality is their hardworking nature.

Photo courtesy of Bob and Jill Kinser

Photo courtesy of Bob and Jill Kinser

Looking for a place in the country to keep horses, the couple moved to 23 acres along Fourth Creek in Iredell County, N.C., in 1986. Two years later the state designated almost 24 miles of the creek as impaired due to the elevated presence of fecal coliform bacteria and visual turbidity — or murky water — both signs of pollution.

Concerned with ensuring clean water for their six horses, the Kinsers contacted county soil and conservation officials, who worked with them to secure Clean Water Act funding for water quality improvements to their property. The county covered 75 percent of the cost, while the Kinsers made up the difference.

From 2005 to 2008, the couple completed four water quality improvement projects on their land, installing two units that prevent debris contamination and regulate water temperature, and building fencing to keep their horses from getting into waterways where they could contribute to contamination. They also built a four-bin composter to repurpose daily animal waste for fertilizer.

27 Visionaries


27 Visionaries

Their efforts paid off over the years, and today segments of Fourth Creek are no longer considered impaired for turbidity or fecal coliform.

While federal funding provided professional blueprints and materials, their own labor — especially Bob’s — helped the Kinsers achieve their goals. “He did the work in every case, every project,” Jill Kinser says proudly of her husband. “He’s part engineer, part old farm boy.”


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