In the murky waters of the Catawba River and the ripples of its peaceful creeks and streams lurk potential threats to people and wildlife.

Harmful bacteria and chemical elements pouring into the Catawba River Basin from homes, stormwater runoff and sewage spills have caused parts of the Catawba and most of its tributaries to miss the mark on federal clean water standards, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, putting public health and aquatic life at risk. […]