Jordan Lake

The state commission overseeing plans to treat pollution in Jordan Lake did not make any recommendations during its last meeting.
JT Taylor / Flickr/Creative Commons

State environmental officials are overseeing the installation of special machines in Jordan Lake starting today. 

SolarBees are water circulators intended to prevent algae from storm water runoff from forming in the lake.  Installers are placing a total of 36 machines: 12 in the Haw River arm of the lake and 24 more in the Morgan Creek tributary.  

Susan Massengale is a spokeswoman with the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  She says this step begins 18 months of water testing.

A SolarBee
Medora Corporation

The Army Corps of Engineers is wrapping up the environmental impact review of a $1.4 million plan to put solar powered water mixers (also known as SolarBees) on Jordan Lake to break up algae.

Last year, the General Assembly decided to delay implementation of rules that would restrict development around the lake to reduce contaminated runoff. Instead, they had the Department of Environment and Natural Resources spend $400,000 on 36 SolarBees to churn the water and prevent chlorophyll a, which is linked to algae blooms, from building up.

A Marcellus Shale drill rig in Pennsylvania used in the fracking process.
Ken Skipper, USGS

    

    

The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission has finalized their recommendations on fracking in the state to the General Assembly. Critics argue the commission needs more time as the health effects of fracking are unknown. In addition, the state commission tasked with deciding the methods of Jordan Lake clean-up remains undecided on next steps. And Governor McCrory proposes legislation to close or convert the state’s 33 coal ash ponds. 

The state commission overseeing plans to treat pollution in Jordan Lake did not make any recommendations during its last meeting.
JT Taylor / Flickr/Creative Commons

The state commission that’s been looking at ways to treat pollution in Jordan Lake did not make any recommendations during its last hearing on Wednesday.

Government and business leaders from towns that use the lake for drinking water urged the committee to reinstate regulations on the water that is poured into the lake.

The state has suspended some requirements until 2016. They would require costly improvements to storm water drainage in in areas including Greensboro and Burlington.

Jordan Lake, Durham, NC
Dave DeWitt

A committee of state lawmakers is trying to determine how to best clean-up Jordan Lake. The group met for the first time yesterday.  Jordan Lake has large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus, which on their own don’t present any significant problem. But when those nutrients sit stagnant in the lake for as long as a year at a time, it leads to toxic algae and chlorophyll.  The state is going to soon start using something called the SolarBee, devices that will move water around and decrease stagnation.

Jordan Lake, Durham, NC
Dave DeWitt

Thousands of visitors are expected to visit Jordan Lake on this Memorial Day. It’s a popular spot for boaters, kayakers, and campers. It’s also at the center of an ongoing fight over clean water.

In 1997, the State Legislature began the long, arduous process of addressing pollution in Jordan Lake. Algae blooms caused by upstream runoff threatened recreational activity on the Lake, and the drinking water that serves much of western Wake County.

Wake County Commissioners' efforts to reduce the amount of pollution in Falls Lake and Jordan Lake got a little complicated this week.

Gurnal Scott: Both lakes are considered polluted because of excessive nutrients washed in by stormwater runoff. They are primary sources of Wake County’s drinking water. Commissioners approved new rules requiring developers to use more retention ponds to prevent further pollution. But this week, state lawmakers delayed action on clean water rules. Commissioner Tony Gurley was surprised by that.

A clean-up is underway along the shoreline of Jordan Lake. Corporate sponsors are picking up propane tanks, bottles and cans near the southern end of the lake where the Haw River brings in debris from storm water runoff. Fran DiGiano is the president of the group Clean Jordan Lake. He says volunteers will try to finish the job this weekend.