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Jordan Lake

Updated: 2017-07-15T21:57Z
B. Everett Jordan Lake
Jordan Lake.jpg
LocationChatham / Durham counties, North Carolina, United States
Coordinates35°45′0″N 79°1′30″W / 35.75000°N 79.02500°W / 35.75000; -79.02500Coordinates: 35°45′0″N 79°1′30″W / 35.75000°N 79.02500°W / 35.75000; -79.02500
Lake typeReservoir
Primary inflowsHaw River, New Hope Creek, Morgan Creek, and Little Creek
Primary outflowsHaw River
Basin countriesUnited States
Managing agencyUnited States Army Corps of Engineers
Max. length16 miles (26 km)[1]
Max. width5 miles (8.0 km)[1]
Surface area13,940 acres (56.4 km2)
31,800 acres (129 km2) flood control pool[1]
Average depth14 feet (4.3 m)[1]
Max. depth38 feet (12 m)[1]
Water volume45,800 acre feet (56.5 hm3)
Shore length1180 mi (290 km)[1]
Surface elevation216 ft (66 m) [1]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

B. Everett Jordan Lake is a reservoir in New Hope Valley, west of Raleigh and south of Durham in Chatham County, North Carolina, in the United States; the northernmost end of the lake extends into southwestern Durham County.

Part of the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area,[1] the reservoir covers 13,940 acres (5,640 ha) with a shoreline of 180 miles (290 km) at its standard water level of 216 feet (66 m) above sea level. It was developed as part of a flood control project prompted by a particularly damaging tropical storm that hit the region downstream in September 1945. Constructed at an original cost of US $146,300,000, it is owned and operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which dammed and flooded the Haw River and New Hope River between 1973 and 1983.


The Jordan Lake Dam (also known as the B. Everett Jordan Project and the New Hope Dam) is located at 35°39′15″N 79°4′0″W / 35.65417°N 79.06667°W / 35.65417; -79.06667 (B. Everett Jordan Dam) 4 miles (6 km) upstream from the mouth of the Haw River in the upper Cape Fear River drainage basin. Completed in 1974 by the Nello L. Teer Company, it is 1,330 feet (405 m) in length and has a top elevation of 266.5 feet (81 m) above mean sea level.[1]

During the construction of the reservoir, much of the area was permanently changed. Many farming families were relocated as the project was developed and several roads in eastern Chatham County were either rerouted or taken out of commission completely. Some of the roads were never demolished, but simply allowed to flood over. When the lake is at low water volume, many of these roads can still be seen and some have even been utilized for makeshift boat ramps.[citation needed]

Originally authorized in 1963 as the New Hope Lake Project, the reservoir was renamed in 1974 in memory of B. Everett Jordan, former US Senator from North Carolina.

Water Supply

The northern end of Jordan Lake, near the Morgan Creek inlet

Jordan Lake serves as a major water supply for about 250,000 (1990) people in North Carolina. Allocations made in 2002 total 63 mgd. Governmental units allocated water from Jordan Lake are Towns of Cary and Apex (32 mgd), Chatham County (6 mgd), City of Durham (10 mgd), Town of Holly Springs (2 mgd), Town of Morrisville (3.5 mgd), Orange County (1 mgd), Orange Water & Sewer Authority (5 mgd), and Wake County - RTP South (3.5 mgd). As of 2014 the NCDENR Division of Water Resources is conducting a round of applications for water allocation.[2][3][4]

Water Quality

Jordan Lake was declared as nutrient-sensitive waters (NSW) by the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission from 1983, the year it was impounded. The lake is eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic owing to excessive nutrient levels.[5]

Jordan Lake offers a variety of facilities for recreation, conservation, and flood control.

Requirements of the federal Clean Water Act were triggered when the lake became impaired, including the need to set load reduction limits for point and nonpoint sources and enforce discharge limits.[6]

The Jordan Lake Rules are designed to improve water quality in the lake. The rules were developed with extensive meetings, public hearings and negotiations between residents, environmental groups, local and state government agencies and other stakeholders. The rules mandate reducing pollution from wastewater discharges, stormwater runoff from new and existing development, agriculture and fertilizer application.[7][8]

From July 2011 several NC laws have been passed delaying and weakening the rules, culminating in a plan to deploy floating arrays of in-lake, long-distance circulators–similar to wastewater treatment circulators–intended to reduce harmful algae and excessive chlorophyll.[9][10]


Bald eagle habitat being endangered by trash submerged by the lake's creation spurred volunteer efforts to clean up the shoreline and other sensitive areas.[11][12]

In 2009 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers worked with local activists to establish a "friends of the lake" group, the non-profitClean Jordan Lake corporation.[13][14]

Volunteer cleanups aided by the Corps of Engineers began in 2010.[15][16] Since then, the group has organized over 60 community service cleanups and formed an Adopt-A-Shoreline Program that comprises 14 groups that clean habitually littered areas three times per year. As of late 2014, 3,400 volunteers have removed 9,500 bags of trash (enough to fill 30 large dumpsters) and nearly 3,600 tires.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i US Army Corps of Engineers. "B Everett Jordan Dam and Lake". Brochure. 
  2. ^ Clean Jordan Lake
  3. ^ NCDENR DWR Permits & Registration  » Jordan Lake Water Supply Allocation
  4. ^ NCDENR DWR Current Allocations
  5. ^ NCDENR DWR Background
  6. ^ Brief History of Jordan Nutrient Strategy
  7. ^ NCDENR DWR Jordan Lake Rules
  8. ^ Jordan Lake Rules fact sheet
  9. ^ NCDENR - Read the Rules
  10. ^ Using Circulators to Control Wastewater Pond Odors
  11. ^ News & Observer: Debris clogs Jordan Lake's coves Archived 2012-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ NBC 17: Volunteers Sought For Trash Removal In Jordan Lake
  13. ^
  14. ^ Independent Weekly: Jordan Lake: Turtles, herons and Styrofoam
  15. ^ News & Observer: Littered lake gets a cleanup Archived 2010-05-12 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ NBC 17: Volunteers Wanted To Clean Up Jordan Lake

External links

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