(Please note, I wrote this earlier in the summer but re-posted it today so some of the information is out-of-date).
Yesterday one of my neighbors stopped by during their morning walk to chat and, has been the case a lot recently, the topic of our current drought and potential water shortages in areas around Lake Norman came up. When I heard that a friend of theirs’ well had run dry that got me to wondering about our own well and the possibility of us having a problem. Honestly, this is the first time we have owned a home with it’s own well and septic system so I decided to do some research and here is what I found out:
Where Lake Norman’s Water Comes From and How It Is Distributed
For those readers who are new or don’t live here, there are two sources of water for residences on and around Lake Norman. The towns like Mooresville provide city water and sewer. For all the rest of us who don’t live within town limits we either have individual wells and septic tanks on our property or if one lives in one of the large subdivisions like The Point, The Harbour or The Farms, water and septic service is provided by large community wells run by companies like Carolina Water Service. Water for the town of Mooresville residents is pumped from Lake Norman which is considered a very reliable source since the water is replenished by the Catawba River. However, “in this part of North Carolina, well water comes from rainwater and wastewater that seeps through the soil and collects in fractures of bedrock. The water available fluctuates with the amount of rainfall more that in the eastern part of the state” according to an article last October in the Charlotte Observer written by Kathryn Thier. There is an in depth article Ground Water and the Rural Homeowner by the U.S. Geological Survey which goes in to great detail about rural wells and ground water if you are interested.
The Bad News: The Lake Norman 2007 Drought
As of today, August 27, 2007, Lake Norman’s water level is 94.6′ or 5.4′ below “full pond” while an average August level would be 98′. Because of our record temperatures and persistent drought conditions “boaters and other recreational users are encouraged to use caution and examine their surroundings for potential hazards when on Catawba-area lakes and waterways…Duke Energy, along with more than 70 other major water users, are urging individuals to voluntarily conserve water during this time of drought.” The current low levels have forced the closing of the Lake Norman State Park swim area and some other boat ramps. And, Mecklenburg County has joined others by announcing today that they are starting mandatory water useage restrictions.
The Good News: This Week’s Lower Temperatures and Storms Mark the Beginning of the End of Our Hot Streak
It looks like the worst wil soon be over as our high temperatures have finally dipped in to the 80’s! And, those of us with wells have thankfully not lacked for water. Once the rains return to normal so will our ground water levels and that of Lake Norman. Plus, ” water systems here are regulated and designed to adequately supply the developments they serve”. “With normal usage, there’s no reason they can’t meet demand” according to Setzer about Carolina Water Service which provides water to the Crescent Communities’ The Point, The Harbour and The Farms. “The water system serving those communities was designed two to two-and-one-half times beyond the state requirements to meet the expected high demand at those large, heavily landscaped homes, said Martin Lashua, regional manager for Carolina Water Service.”
If you would like to read more about water supply issues on the Brawley Peninsula and the general Lake Norman Area, Kathryn Thier of The Charlotte Observer was kind enough to email me a copy of all of her recent articles addressing this subject and I would be happy to send a copy to you. If you are like me and want to know more about your own well, on the well itself you will find the depth (ours is 300′) and the company that dug the well. The question I can’t answer is will 300′ always be deep enough or will there come a time when wells will have to dig deeper in to the aquifers? If you know something more or would like to weigh in on this subject I invite you to Leave a Comment!