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Summary of the Jordan Lake Rules

      A nutrient reduction strategy was developed for the Jordan Lake Watershed in order to limit the amount of harmful nutrients flowing into our water supply. The Jordan Lake Rules were designed around nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) percentage reduction goals for each of the three arms of Jordan Lake Reservoir as shown in the table below. The reduction goals vary depending on the hydrological flow of the arm and the utilization of the land surrounding it. These rules will help keep our water supply healthy, useable and beautiful for generations to come.

      We have provided a collection of explanations concerning the changes being made as a result of the Jordan Lake Rules and we encourage further investigation of the rules seeing as they differ depending on where you are located within the watershed. A link to the NCDENR website has been provided at the bottom of the page.


Nutrient Percentage Reduction Goals

         Segment of Jordan Reservoir (Arm)

  Upper New Hope Arm Lower New Hope Arm Haw River Arm
Nitrogen 35% 0% 8%
Phosphorus 5% 0% 5%

  • The Upper New Hope Arm faces the greatest reduction needs. Its watershed is heavily urbanized and includes a large portion of the rapidly growing Triangle area.
  • The Lower New Hope Arm has the least reduction need. Its watershed is very small but is being rapidly developed at suburban residential densities.
  • The Haw River arm, which compromises 80% of the entire Jordan watershed, contains the rapidly growing Piedmont Triad area.
  • The proposed set of rules would involve a comprehensive effort to address nutrient sources to Jordan Reservoir to meet the reduction goals. It would entail reductions by point source discharges and in nutrient runoff from agriculture, existing development, and new development.
  • Suggested ways to reduce the sediment load include:
    • Riparian buffer protection rules
    • Establishing buffers during a change in land use would achieve some loading reduction
    • Implementing a fertilizer management rule; potentially reducing nutrient inputs through education
Point Source Strategy:

Upper New Hope Arm of Jordan Reservoir

      All of the available loading was allocated to the existing facilities. Therefore, there will be no new nitrogen or phosphorus bearing loads permitted in this watershed. There are four facilities discharging greater than 100,000 gallons per day in the watershed of the Upper New Hope Arm.

  • These facilities account for 99.7% of the total permitted flow from point sources. The discharge allocations for these four facilities provide equivalent concentrations for each facility.
  • For nitrogen, this equivalent concentration is 3.04 mg/L, and for phosphorus this equivalent is 0.23 mg/L.

Haw River Arm of Jordan Reservoir

      All of the available loading was allocated to the existing facilities. Therefore, there will be no new nitrogen or phosphorus bearing loads permitted in this watershed. There are ten facilities discharging greater than 100,000 gallons per day in watershed of the Haw River Arm.

  • These facilities account for 99.3% of the total permitted flow from point sources. The discharge allocations for these ten facilities provide equivalent treatment levels for each facility.
  • For nitrogen, this equivalent treatment level is 5.3 mg/L, and for phosphorus this
    equivalent is 0.67 mg/L
Nonpoint Source Strategy:

      All of the following elements would apply in the subwatersheds of both the Upper New Hope and Haw River arms, while only the riparian buffer protection and new development controls would apply in the Lower New Hope subwatershed.

The proposed strategy would require that:

• All agricultural operations would collectively meet N and P export performance goals as implemented by local committees
• Stormwater Regulations:
      -New development in unincorporated areas of all counties except Caswell and
Rockingham are subject to the post-construction stormwater measure of the NPDES
Phase II requirements and are permitted by Department of Water Quality beginning July 1, 2007
      -Seventeen of the twenty six municipalities in the watershed were issued permits by
December 2005 to implement all six measures of the Phase II requirements, either alone or as part of another MS4's permit, and were required to begin implementing
post-construction permitting under those permits by December 2007
      -All local governments would achieve stormwater N and P export performance goals from all new and existing development
• Depatrment of Water Quality (DWQ) would require local governments to protect riparian buffers
• Persons who apply fertilizers to lands in the subwatershed would complete nutrient
management training and a written plan for those lands. A tax on fertilizer would fund the implementation of this rule
• DWQ would work with DEH to develop programs to reduce N and P loading from on-site wastewater
• DWQ would refine existing wastewater land application permitting programs as needed
• DWQ would establish a trading program between point and nonpoint sources and among nonpoint sources
• Local governments and agricultural committees would provide annual reports to the Environmental Management Commission.
           The Environmental Management Commission would re-examine the management strategy every five years.

Proposed Jordan Rules and their affects on New Development:

  • An approved storm water management plan shall be required for all proposed new development disturbing one acre or more for single family and duplex residential property and recreational facilities, and one-half acre or more for commercial, industrial, institutional, or multifamily residential property
    • Developments will not be approved unless:
      • Nitrogen and phosphorus loads contributed by the proposed new development activity shall not exceed certain unit-area mass loading rates
      • Loading Rate Targets for each watershed(expressed in units of pounds per acre per year):
        • 2.2 and 0.82 in the Upper New Hope
        • 4.4 and 0.78 in the Lower New Hope
        • 3.8 and 1.43 in the Haw
  • Storm water systems shall be designed to control and treat the runoff generated from all surfaces by one inch of rainfall
    • Treatment systems shall achieve an 85 percent average annual removal rate for Total Suspended Solids
    • At a minimum, the new development shall not result in a net increase in peak flow leaving the site from pre-development conditions for the one-year, 24-hour storm event
  • Proposed new development that would replace or expand structures or improvements that existed as of December 2001 that would not result in a net increase in built-upon area shall not be required to meet the nutrient loading targets or high-density requirements
    • However, it should still provide equal storm water control to the previous development
  • Proposed new development shall comply with the riparian buffer protection
  • Developers shall have the option of partially offsetting their nitrogen and phosphorus loads by funding offsite management measures
    • Measures shall achieve at least equivalent reductions in nitrogen and phosphorus loading to the remaining reduction needed onsite to comply with the rules
  • A plan to ensure maintenance of best management practices (BMPs) implemented for the life of the development
    • As well as a plan to ensure enforcement and compliance with the provisions for the life of the development
  • Requirements in Water Supply for New Developments includes:
    • Local governments to assume ultimate responsibility for operation and maintenance of high-density storm water controls, to enforce compliance, to collect fees, and other measures
  • Commissioners have final say on implementation of a Model Local Storm Water Program
    • Local governments that are required to reduce nutrient loading from existing development may increase load reductions for new development in excess of those required to meet the unit-area mass loading rate targets and give credit reductions to existing developments
Proposed Jordan Rules and their affects on Existing Development:
  • Same nutrient load reductions as new development; given more time to reduce nutrient loads (during implementation)
  • The local government shall develop a proposed implementation rate and compliance schedule for load reducing activities.  This schedule shall provide for reasonable and steady progress toward reduction goals throughout the proposed compliance period
    • The program shall identify the duration of anticipated loading reductions, and should seek activities that provide sustained, long-term reductions
      • activities may include but would not be limited to storm water activities such as street sweeping, removal of existing built-upon area, retrofitting of existing development with engineered best management practices (BMPs), requiring treatment of runoff in redevelopment projects, requiring over-treatment of runoff in new development projects, and adoption of fertilizer management ordinances or fertilizer education programs, and wastewater activities such as overtreatment at publicly owned treatment works (POTW), collection system improvements, removal of illegal discharges, and connection of onsite wastewater systems and discharging sand filter systems to central sewer
      • The program shall identify anticipated funding mechanisms or sources and discuss steps taken or planned to secure such funding
NCDOT Requirements (Development including roads and industrial facilities)
  • Identify NCDOT storm water outfalls from Interstate, US, and NC primary routes
  • Identify and eliminate illegal discharges into the NCDOT’s storm water conveyance system
  • Establish a strategy for post-construction storm water runoff control for new development
    • Reduction goals (same as above) must be met for both existing and new development involving the NCDOT
  • Initiate a “Nutrient Management Education Program” for NCDOT staff and contractors engaged in the application of fertilizers on highway rights of way
  • Address compliance with the riparian buffer protection requirements of Rules 15A NCAC 02B .0267 and .0268 through a Division approval process (may be different from above due to space between roads already established)
For More Information:
Proposed Jordan Lake Rules (NCDENR Website)



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