Haw River

Haw River
Haw River Assembly

The City of Burlington will embark on a series of improvements to its wastewater collection system. It’s part of an agreement between the city and various environmental groups. 

Back in January, more than 3.5 million gallons of raw sewage spilled out of a cracked pipe near a wastewater treatment plant and into the Haw River. The Haw River winds through Alamance County and feeds into Jordan Lake, the main source of drinking water for more than a quarter of a million people.

Griffins Crossroads, NC taken March 7 2009
Todd Martin / Flickr/Creative Commons

A national environmental group says the Haw River is among the most endangered in the nation. Earlier this year a pipe broke in Burlington and 3.5 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Haw. The River flows into Jordan Lake, which provides drinking water for about one million state residents.

A drill rig on a fracking site.
EPA

The natural gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has been a source of debate and contention in the state for quite some time now. It involves drilling horizontally through thousands of feet of shale and blasting the shale with water, sand and chemicals to release natural gas. Several states allow the process, some are in the process of figuring out how to regulate it, and some, like New York, have placed a moratorium on the process due to environmental concerns.

The State is considering a request from the City of Greensboro to draw water from the Haw River.

Tonight the Division of Water Quality will listen to citizens at the first of several public hearings. As of now Greensboro takes its water from Lakes Higgins, Brandt and Townsend.  Greensboro's Interim Director of Water Resources Kenny McDowell says the proposal to use the Haw would allow the city greater flexibility.

A proposal under consideration by state officials may help protect Haw River and surrounding areas. The plan involves reclassifying a portion of the river in and around Guilford County. This aims to preserve existing water resources by limiting development. Jason Martin heads planning in nearby Alamance County. He says the river’s status as an emergency water supply led to the push for reclassification.

Cicadas Inspire Love, Frustration

May 30, 2011

 Residents around the Triangle have been serenaded by the drone of 13-year cicadas for several weeks now. Among some, the orange and black visitors have inspired awe and sometimes devotion. 

After living underground for 13 years, the insects have crawled into tree tops where cicada males are serenading females. Caroline Christopher lives out in the woods north of Chapel Hill