2013 Monitoring– Jordan Impaired

Even with NC Division of Water Resource’s burdensome workload (e.g., Coal Ash crisis, added legislative mandates, and budget cuts) the Division managed to put out its 2013 annual Jordan Reservoir monitoring report.  Like previous years, 2013 water quality did not look good.

It was a wet year so plenty of nutrients got washed into the lake from upstream sources.  That was not good news for the Reservoir.  Chlorophyll levels were high.  Chlorophyll is used by the State as a measure of the health of the Lake.  Too much of it can lead to harmful and undesirable outcomes such as fish kills and expensive water treatment.   Here are some results from the report:

  • The upper portion of Jordan was the most polluted.  Its Chlorophyll a levels exceeded the state standard in in as much of 65% of samples;
  • All sites north of Hwy 64 were in violation of the State’s Chlorophyll standard;
  • Two of three monitoring sites in the lower Jordan ‘Haw’ Arm of the Lake also violated Chlorophyll levels; and
  • Standards were violated for low oxygen, high PH, and turbidity.
    Upper Jordan Monitoring Results where water quality violations occurred for high PH, turbidity, and Chlorophyll a levels (Source: NC DWR)
    Upper Jordan Monitoring Results where water quality violations occurred for high PH, turbidity, and Chlorophyll a levels (Source: NC DWR)

The above data were more than enough justification to keep the lake on the State’s 2014 list of impaired waters.

The State has been sidestepping full implementation of an existing clean-up plan for the lake.  This past legislative session saw a 3-year delay added to many elements of that plan.  In lieu plan implementation, the legislature added funding for an experimental low-cost technology – water aerators, that DENR is currently trying to get permitted for deployment.  As water quality data shows, however, the devices will have their work cut out for them if Jordan is to be removed from the State’s impaired waters list.

3 Comments on “2013 Monitoring– Jordan Impaired

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