Brown pond making Cary's West Park residents blue

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Residents blame a nearby subdivision construction project.

This may not be a Great Lake, but to West Park's residents, their pond is one of the greatest benefits of living here.

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"We take our dogs and kids on walks here every day," neighbor Meg Green told ABC11. "We love and enjoy this pond, but it's become kind of a wasteland."

The worry stems from the pond's sudden discoloration; a transformation from a clear brook to a murky and brown body of water.

"I've seen turtles that are now all muddy," Green said. "All sorts of fish, turtles, frogs, geese, ducks - there's so much that depends on this pond.

In a petition posted on Change.org, Green and nearly 150 others blame the pond's changes on nearby construction of a new subdivision, Ashbourne, being built by developer CalAtlantic Homes.

"We ask that the CalAtlantic Homes at Ashbourne halt further construction until the past, current, and future damaging storm runoff is addressed to the satisfaction of the WestPark Residents," the post writes. "The environmental impact of the clearcutting and runoff that is coming from their site into WestPark has caused clay-colored gushes of water through properties abutting the new development during times of heavy rainfall.

Read the full petition here

Town of Cary officials confirmed to ABC11 they have seen the petition and spoke with concerned residents.

Steve Brown, Director of Water Resources, acknowledged the concerns about the water's discoloration, but insisted the color is the only thing wrong; there's nothing toxic or threatening to the wildlife.

"We found the (developer's) sediment and erosion control and stormwater devices were working properly," Brown told ABC11. "This is just discolored water. In North Carolina and the southeast we have a clay-based soil and when it rains hard, tiny particles will get into the water."

Brown added that federal and state laws, as well as town ordinances, maintain strict requirements of stormwater runoff to prevent toxic materials, sand and other foreign objects from entering streams and creeks.

"The best way to address this is to get the construction completed and get grass and trees reestablished," Brown said. "We're working with the development to do that as fast as possible."

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