High Rock Lake is experiencing water quality issues due to algal blooms which may produce harmful toxins and can cause illness if ingested by humans and pets. The Department of Environmental Quality is currently drafting new state requirements (called “Rules”) to address the increased nutrients in this watershed causing the blooms. These rules are expected to impact a wide range of nutrient sources, including but not limited to impervious surfaces, stormwater runoff, agriculture, wastewater, and riparian buffers. A Steering Committee has been selected with membership spanning a diverse cross-section of individuals and groups from across the watershed and representing various interests and perspectives, and technical advisory groups (TAGs) are being convened to investigate different control strategies for nutrient sources in the area that drains to High Rock Lake. Planning meetings are being scheduled through 2023 and the public is invited to participate. Please contact Joey Hester (919-707-3675, email@example.com) if you have questions or for more information about how you can participate.
High Rock Lake is presently impaired for several water quality parameters including chlorophyll a, turbidity, and pH. Because High Rock is among North Carolina’s largest and most eutrophic lakes, it has long been the subject of focused studies designed to support an anticipated nutrient strategy.
DWR concluded its modeling efforts with support from a technical advisory committee in 2016. High Rock Lake is also presently the focus of a plan to revisit North Carolina’s nutrient-related water quality criteria. Nutrient strategy development is ongoing with the consultation of watershed stakeholders, and a Steering Committee is currently in the process of developing and drafting formal rule proposals for the consideration by DWR.
Subscribe to the High Rock Lake listserv to receive updates about the High Rock Lake nutrient strategy.