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State deploys water mixers in Jordan Lake

Posted July 21, 2014

State officials began deploying solar-powered water circulators in Jordan Lake on July 21, 2014, in the latest attempt to battle pollution in the lake.

— State officials began deploying solar-powered water circulators in Jordan Lake on Monday in the latest attempt to battle pollution in the lake.

Lawmakers last year approved testing the SolarBee machines when they issued a three-year moratorium on the Jordan Lake Rules, a set of upstream development regulations designed to limit runoff into the lake.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated Jordan Lake as impaired under the federal Clean Water Act because excessive amounts of algae that formed in the lake due to the gradual buildup of nutrients from stormwater runoff, wastewater and other sources.

Twelve SolarBees will be spaced 1,300 feet apart in the Haw River arm in the southern part of Jordan Lake, and 24 other machines will be similarly spaced in the Morgan Creek arm at the northern end of the lake. State environmental officials said these arms have demonstrated high levels of chlorophyll-a due to the amount of nutrients coming into the lake.

The Division of Water Resources has performed baseline sampling in the lake and will test the water once a month for 18 months with the SolarBees in place. The agency will report its findings to the General Assembly by Oct. 1, 2015.


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  • jmcdow2792 Jul 22, 2014

    Aeration is a natural process that was adapted for use by man to treat water. It works. The only questions are will the machines work, are they of sufficient capacity and located properly and are they reliable. Let's see how this experiment works out. It could be an answer for lots of locations with poor water quality.

  • John McCray Jul 22, 2014
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    The drainage to Jordan is highly developed, with some surface applied pollutants being immediately adjacent to Jordan or it's main tributaries such as White Oak Creek and the Haw River. There are numerous multi-million dollar homes surrounding Jordan that have highly manicured lawns. But there are also lots of agricultural fields that contain livestock with no maintenance of a good buffer. All of it is contributory. That is why the legislatures repeal of the Jordan Lake rules were a huge setback to cleaning up this watershed.

  • glarg Jul 22, 2014

    "State deploys water mixers in Jordan Lake

    All we need is some gin and we can mix up some smart cocktails.

  • GoGreen Jul 22, 2014

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    So this is exactly NOt the problem. As we have seen with the fracking debate, leaving regulation to "local" folks leads directly to politicizing the solution. The mixers will not work in Lake Jordan to solve any problem but our Republican Legislature and Governor want to give the illusion of action to placate the electorate all the while rewarding Medora Corporation for their generous campaign donations. Education, environment, North Carolina is reaping the direct results of what was sown two years ago. Enjoy!

  • 42_wral_mods_suck_i'm_gone Jul 22, 2014

    Dillution is the solution for the GOP.

    Why not install these mixers at every coal ash spill too?

  • mikha Jul 22, 2014

    HEY! I have a novel idea, restrict municipalities and industry from discharging pollutants in the lake... I know it sounds just CrAzY, but it might work... : )

  • emaleth Jul 22, 2014

    What a giant waste of money. Yes, let's stir up the mess instead of cleaning it up. Remember this joke of a solution once election time comes. Talk about wasting taxpayer money!!!

  • SaveEnergyMan Jul 22, 2014

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    To add to your post.. Years ago I saw a map produced by one of the water utilities of all of the facilities that dump into the Haw. There were over 100 dots on the map - cities, factories, and others. It didn't even include the fertilizer/pesticide runoff from homeowners growing that "perfect lawn" with grass not meant for this area.

    Jordan is not the cleanest lake and it will take a lot of work to make it better - both from treatment and prevention standpoints.

  • rushbot Jul 22, 2014

    i think i saw mr hanee try to sell one of these to mr douglas one time.....

  • Jim Frei Jul 21, 2014
    user avatar

    "Gee, maybe if legislators hadn't allowed so much development there"

    There is no development on Jordan Lake. The pollution is coming from the cities upstream - Durham, Chapel Hill, Burlington, and Greensboro among others.