Jordan Lake Rules
The B. Everett Jordan Reservoir (Jordan Lake) is a multi-use impoundment located in the Cape Fear River Basin and is operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The lake was formed with the construction of a dam on the Haw River and covers an area of 13,940 acres. Jordan Lake is operated to provide flood control, water supply, protection of water quality downstream, fish and wildlife conservation, and recreation. Protection of the lake and surrounding forests is critical to ensure a safe, reliable drinking water supply and to provide critical habitat for many plant and animal species.
Jordan Lake consists of two separate arms (Haw River Arm and New Hope Creek Arm). Apex is located in what is considered the lower portion of the New Hope Arm.
The Jordan Water Supply Watershed Nutrient Management Strategy Rules (Jordan Lake Rules) were approved by the North Carolina State Legislature in 2009 to reduce algal growth and other water quality related problems resulting from excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. The requirements outlined in this strategy are similar to those already in place in the Neuse River Basin. However, they go beyond these previous rules by requiring all local governments located within the watershed to require stormwater controls on new and existing development.
The Town of Apex has implemented various water quality and quantity programs within its jurisdiction for some time beginning in 1990 with the Swift Creek Land Management Plan. Other water quality programs include water supply watershed protection, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II, protection of riparian buffers, and the newly established Swift Creek Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program.
More recently, Apex has initiated the Jordan Lake Stage I Adaptive Management Strategy Program to address nutrient loading from existing development. In addition to the 6 minimum measures already in place as a result of the Town’s NPDES Phase II permit, Apex is required on an annual basis to identify 2 potential stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP) retrofit locations within existing development. The NC Division of Water Quality will determine in the future if Apex will be required to construct the previously identified BMP retrofits.
On August 1, 2012, Governor Perdue signed bills that delayed the required implementation date of the Jordan Lake New Development Rule (15A NCAC 02b .0265). Local governments were given the option of delaying implementation of their local Jordan stormwater programs until August 10, 2014.
Apex plans to adopt and implement the Jordan Lake new development stormwater rules in August 2014 as required. It is important to note that for many years Apex has enforced stringent water quality rules in the Jordan Lake watershed which include lower density thresholds, 100-foot riparian buffers on perennial streams, and structural BMPs that remove 85% total suspended solids and reduce peak stormwater runoff flows. These Apex standards exceed the state minimums.