In previous posts, we touched on the monitoring status of Jordan Lake mostly because that Lake seem to get most of the news headlines. It’s important, however, not to forget that the State’s most ambitious nutrient reduction strategy is quietly in the process of implementation. Falls Lake, with reductions of 40% in nitrogen and 77% in phosphorus, surpasses other nutrient reduction strategies in the State by far and implementation of the strategy began in 2011.
With 2013 being a wet year, pollution from fertilizers, farms, and households was elevated and the state’s 2013 monitoring report shows that pollution to Falls Lake continues to impair the Lake. Pollution in the upper lake exceeds that in the lower with impairments for chlorophyll, Ph, and turbidity. Two monitoring sites in upper Falls had chlorophyll levels that exceeded the State standard in 45% of samples and 42% for Turbidity.
Some positive news is that implementation of the strategy has begun. Unlike the Jordan Lake strategy, the Falls Lake one has been happening without interference from the legislature. Recently, the Town of Hillsborough completed upgrades for its waste water treatment plant aimed to stem the flow of nitrogen to the Lake. Additional actions to clamp down on nutrient flows to Falls Lake will continue to occur as the implementation of the pollution reduction strategy progresses.