Christine’s Tea Room

In Durham, Where Does Our Water Come From?
by Christine Chen -- October 30th, 2012

Don’t hurry to get the answers, take a wild guess first. Is it Jordan Lake, Falls Lake, Lake Michie, Flat River or Little River Reservoir? These familiar names may flash through your mind, but only two of them are exactly what we are talking about.

Pictures from Google Map, edited by Christine Chen

Lake Michie is marked with the pin A.

Okay, it’s time for the answers.

The first source is Lake Michie, which resides in the north of Durham. Lake Michie, principally fed by Flat River, is the primary source of drinking water of Durham. In addition to providing drinking water, the concrete and earthwork dam built between 1924 and 1926 served as to generate hydroelectric power until 1960.

So can we visit the lake or is visiting restricted now? Yes, it is open for recreation such as boating and fishing (according to the information from Wikipedia, it is one of the finest place for Largemouth Bass fishing in N.C., but I don’t really know what that fish is….. ).

Pictures from Google Map, edited by Christine Chen

The second source is Little River Reservoir. Little River is one of the most common names for rivers and the information about Little River is far less than Lake Michie and other water bodies. I was quite surprised about it. The Little River Reservoir, fed by Little River, begins near US 501 at Bahama and downstream of the reservoir it goes to the Eno River.

It’s interesting to know where does the water we use to brew coffee in the morning, brush teeth every night, and wash our dirty dishes after dinner come from. I also find on the website of City of Durham, there are daily records of lake level. So you can see if there’s any risk of drought or flooding by taking a look at this graph (it takes about 5 sec), or you can simply see if the lake level has the trend that matches with your feelings for weather recently.

The lake level of Lake Michie and Little River Reservoir on October 2012.

Daily Graph of Durham’s Lake Levels

http://durhamnc.gov/ich/op/dwm/Pages/Water%20Supply%20Status%20Graphs/City-of-Durham-Daily-Lake-Levels.aspxv

I also find a useful link on the website of City of Durham, Department of Water Management. Do you always feel your water bill is too high? Maybe it’s because of the waste-water leaks, and you can do simple inspection just following the steps in the link. I haven’t tried myself, but I’d love to try it out when I have time.

Inspection in your home for water-waste leaks

http://durhamnc.gov/ich/op/dwm/Pages/leak_inspection.aspx

Reference

City of Durham: http://durhamnc.gov/ich/op/dwm/Pages/Water-Supply-Status.aspx

REI.com : http://www.rei.com/guidepost/detail/north-carolina/whitewater-paddling/little-river-near-durham/26397

1 Comment

  1. Austin Wang
    Nov 4, 2012

    Knowledgable

©2016 Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University | Box 90328 | Durham, NC 27708
how to contact us > | login to the site > | site disclaimers >

footer nav stuff