Inside WRAL

Is there a better way to clean Jordan Lake?

Posted June 17, 2013

Bill Leslie

I recently celebrated my 34th anniversary with Capitol Broadcasting Company. Friends, colleagues and viewers marked the occasion by asking me what stood out as my most rewarding assignment over those years. The answer came quickly – serving as one of the country’s first environmental news reporters on television.

My role in the 1980s and beyond was part of a station-wide effort called, "Save Our Sounds." We used documentaries, daily news reports and investigative efforts on WRAL to chronicle pollution problems. Our main theme was educating everyone on what they could personally do to ease the stress on our waterways in North Carolina.

As you know, clean water is the lifeblood of any thriving community. Unfortunately, the water supply of more than 300,000 people in the Triangle is already highly stressed. Jordan Lake is choking on nutrient pollution. It’s getting harder and harder for communities to clean up that water before sending it to your tap.

State leaders recognized this serious problem more than 10 years ago. They launched a comprehensive effort to clean up the rivers and streams feeding Jordan Lake. After years of give and take, compromise and delays and input from people all along the rivers, a Jordan Lake protection plan was finally forged in 2009. Now there is a move in the N.C. General Assembly to totally dismantle the Jordan Lake plan. Legislation has already cleared the N.C. Senate and is awaiting action in the House.

Please join me this Wednesday, June 19 at 7 p.m. on WRAL-TV for a news special on Jordan Lake. “Price of Protection” examines the crucial elements of the debate. Is there a better way to clean Jordan Lake? Should cities upstream bear the burden of the clean up? What happened to the common courtesy of never fouling the water that flows by you? We talk to those on all sides of the issue. It is 30 minutes well spent.

PREVIEW Wednesday's special:


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  • cruzinlong Jun 19, 2013

    they want more builders to be able to foul it up...all for the almighty dollar.
    Prob. also to allow fracking waste water to be put into it also since it's so close to the fracking areas to be, not to mention get water OUT of the lake for fracking.

  • dougdeep Jun 19, 2013

    Nothing more than upstream builders wanting to make a few extra grand a year. No skin off their back, they don't drink the water or visit the lake.

  • Damien Thorne Jun 18, 2013

    Jordan Lake was a bad area to begin with. It is that way because of what is going on beneath the water. Not because of the cleaner water flowing into it.

  • turkeydance Jun 17, 2013

    the recession/depression will cure Jordan Lake. all that stuff
    from the mills up the Haw River has stopped. give it time and
    Mother Nature will prevail..but not in Bill's lifetime.

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