CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Where Route 49 cuts through the woods and hills in Steele Creek, north of Lake Wylie, more and more heavy construction equipment can be seen.
In the next year, work will have started on a new elementary school across from the McDowell Nature Center and Preserve and three new housing developments will go up close to Langston Drive and in the Palisades.
Residents like Sam Perkins understand how important new development is as the economy struggles to recover from the recession. But, as part of the Catawba Riverkeeper organization, he also worries about what that will mean to Lake Wylie.
He has gone out and taken pictures of the muck and mud following recent storms. He found one area that had been surrounded with fences designed to stop sediment.
"It's stopping some of the material but you can see a fair bit more that is going back into what is eventually a creek," Perkins said.
That creek and others like it carry the sediment into the fragile lake water.
"Fish pour water through their gills. Oxygenated water. So, the sediment creates problems for their gills," said Perkins.
One company building homes near the lake has already been served with a notice of violation of Charlotte's erosion control ordinance.
The company could not be reached for comment after hours Wednesday.
Perkins and the Riverkeeper organization hope that there will be strict enforcement of the existing ordinance and are pushing to have it strengthened.
A company could now be fined up to $5,000 a day for continued violations.