Environmentalists concerned over the Triangle's water quality - WNCN: News, Weather

Environmentalists concerned over the Triangle's water quality

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WAKE FOREST, N.C. - As one of the fastest growing metro regions in the country, both commercial and residential development continues its upward momentum here in the Triangle. But at what cost?

Environmentalists WNCN talked with say right now, although the two lakes where we get most of our drinking water from are polluted, the current water filtration systems are good enough to filter out most of those pollutants. The water quality of our lakes in the future, however, is a different story.  

Falls and Jordan lake are where most of us in the Triangle get our drinking water.

Peter Raabe is the North Carolina Conservation Director with American Rivers. “These lakes are polluted due to storm water run-off. They’re a solvable problem but it’s an issue we have because of overdevelopment, and it’s development that wasn’t designed with the purpose of protecting water quality.”

Protecting water quality is what environmentalists like Peter Raabe and Karen Rindge with WakeUP Wake County are fighting for. They're concerned that with new developments going up, water quality control is going down.

Rindge said, “Algae has exploded because of nitrogen and phosphorus. That comes from things like fertilizer, lawns, from agriculture, it also comes from dirt running off to our rivers and streams.”

One solution to combat pollution is a process called low impact development.

“It’s simply a process that captures rain water that comes from our roofs , our driveways and our roads, and redirects that water and all the pollutants that come with it, back into the ground and it naturally filters out.”

Raabe agreed. He said, “Low impact development or LID is a situation where developers can actually look to work with nature as opposed to control nature, and they tend to make more money in those types of developments than if they're doing more traditional developments.”

This week, Haw River was named one of the most endangered rivers in America, because of the millions of gallons of wastewater and pollution runoff in it.

Haw River leads right into Jordan Lake.   

For the last few years the General Assembly has put a hold on what’s called the Jordan Lake Rules. These are regulations that protect our drinking water. A committee will hear comments from the public next week on the 16th. If you’re interested in attending, it will be held in the legislative building at 9:00 AM in Room 544.
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