Local News

Water Quality A Concern As Lake Levels Drop

Posted August 8, 2002

— Much of the state is concerned about how much water it has left, but as water levels drop, the quality of what is left is also of concern.

The water treatment plant that serves both Cary and Apex is a busy place.

"Every day we're having to make new plans on what if it doesn't rain, what if the reservoirs in the lakes and streams don't fill up," said Tim Donnelly, Apex public works director.

Jordan Lake is a big concern for a lot of people.

"On a really hot and low humidity day, as much as 100 million gallons could be evaporating from that lake," Donnelly said.

By September, Jordan Lake could drop below the water plant's main intake. That means Cary and Apex will have to rely on an intake deeper in the water, and that water is not as pure.

"We will begin to see higher quantities of iron and manganese, which makes [the water] more difficult to treat," said Bruce Radford, Apex town manager.

Those natural elements are not harmful to your health, but the water's smell and clarity could change.

"It could cause dingy laundry for people using the water," Donnelly said.

Both Cary and Apex have about 200 days of water left, but only a month of the good water. That concerns Cary resident Leo Webster.

"They're going to have to cut back more on watering. I still see a lot of places around where the sprinklers are running and the water's just running down the street," Webster said.

Thursday, the Cary Town Council is expected to change its watering policy to only allow one day of lawn watering at commercial businesses. The town is also expected to only allow two days of lawn watering at homes. Those restrictions could start on Friday.

Apex officials said the town is considering a lawn watering ban in a few weeks.

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