North Carolina Water Science Center
Period of Project
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Stratification and Water Quality of Jordan Lake
Sunset at Jordan Lake. Photo courtesy of Doug Harned, USGS.
The New Hope arm of Jordan Lake, located in Chatham County, North Carolina, serves as a drinking-water supply for the Towns of Cary, Apex, and Morrisville. The reservoir is listed as impaired due to nutrient over-enrichment and occasionally experiences algal blooms and fish kills.
The Town of Cary proposes to install an innovative, high-capacity, water-column mixing system in the New Hope arm of Jordan Lake in 2015.
The vertical-mixing system is expected to enhance drinking-water treatment, alleviate algal blooms, and enhance recreational use. However, if the system does not completely mix the water column as expected, nutrients transported upward from bottom waters could fuel algal blooms near the surface.
In order to evaluate effects of installing a vertical-mixing system on the New Hope arm of Jordan Lake, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is documenting water-column stratification, chemical quality, taste and odor compounds, and phytoplankton characteristics before and after installation of a mixing system. This project is being conducted in cooperation with the Town of Cary, NC, and with support from the USGS Cooperative Water Program.
The objectives of this study are to:
To achieve the study objectives, the USGS will collect data:
Both provisional and approved water-quality data will be available online through the National Water Information System (NWIS).