City of Monroe lakes placed on the NCDEQ Impaired Waters 303d list.   

City of Monroe lakes (Twitty, Lee, and Monroe) are listed on the 2018 North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Impaired Water 303(d) List. This means that the raw water quality in the lakes does not meet certain parameters set by the State. These water quality parameters are mostly related to nutrient enrichment (nitrogen and phosphorus) in the water. All North Carolina rivers and lakes are evaluated every 3 years to determine if they are impaired for intended uses. 

Does Lake Impairment mean my water is unsafe to drink? 

While impaired water quality may increase the cost of water treatment, the City of Monroe drinking water is safe to drink at all times.  This is because the John Glenn Water Treatment Plant has very sophisticated treatment technology to remove all regulated contaminants and ensure public health is protected. 

Are other lakes in North Carolina considered impaired or impacted?

According to the NC Department of Environmental Quality/Water Resources, there are 87 impaired lakes and rivers that are used as water supplies for communities.  This information can be obtained by visiting the link below:

Does new development activity in the City of Monroe increase lake water quality impairment? 

The primary sources of lake impairment are stormwater pollutants that come from agricultural land and older urban developments that lack modern stormwater runoff controls.  Other sources include animal droppings, atmospheric nitrogen, fertilizers, and septic tanks.  New development activity occurring in the City of Monroe today, both residential and non-residential projects, must meet strict stormwater best management practices that control both the volume of stormwater and the pollutants carried by the stormwater.  In some cases where land is developed and modern stormwater controls installed, the development activity may even improve the water quality entering City lakes. 

What is the City of Monroe doing to improve water quality in City lakes? 

As part of the USEPA Phase 2 Stormwater Regulations the City formed a Stormwater Utility Department.  This department is responsible for implementing development controls, best management practices, illicit discharge elimination, and protecting buffers on perennial and intermittent streams.  The City has also developed a policy to maintain undisturbed bands of vegetation or “buffers” around lakeshores which provides an effective mechanism for protecting water quality and aquatic life. 

How can I help improve water quality in City of Monroe lakes? 

Fertilize sparingly and use a fertilizer with no phosphorous (Formula 26-0-3, for example). Don’t fertilize before a rain storm, clean up any spilled fertilizer promptly, and use a drop spreader.  More fertilizer is NOT better! Whatever is not taken up by the plant runs off in the next rain event. Pick up pet waste. It can contain harmful bacteria as well as nutrients that impact water quality. 

City of Monroe Water Resources Department
PO Box 69
Monroe, NC 28111
(704) 282-4601

North Carolina Division of Water Quality
512 N. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC 27604
(919) 733-7050

Environmental and Natural Resources
601 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1601