Drought closes lake, causes cloudy tap water in NC city homes and businesses

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Drought has closed a large lake to boaters and other users and produced cloudy water in the taps of Concord homes and businesses, city officials said Wednesday.

Officials blamed low water levels at Lake Fisher, one of the city’s drinking water sources, for the Oct. 14 closing and the murky water in taps announced Wednesday. The 534-acre lake is off Interstate 85 near Kannapolis, just north of Concord.

“This is an aesthetic issue only, and there is no harm to public health,” city spokeswoman Lindsay Manson said in a news release Wednesday. “The water remains safe to consume, and residents do not need to boil their water.”

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Lake Fisher is just over 6 feet below normal levels, Manson said. The lake provides raw water to Concord’s Hillgrove Water Treatment Plant, she said.

All of Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Gaston and Lincoln counties are classified as abnormally dry as of Oct. 14 by the U.S. Drought Monitor map. The map is updated every Thursday. Half of Union and Iredell counties also are abnormally dry, according to the map.

“Abnormally dry” is the lowest of five drought-intensity levels.

Concord city workers had to change plant intake levels as a result, and “a large amount of air was introduced into the raw water line” during the change, she said. That has caused the temporary cloudiness in the water supply.

“The disinfection process has not been affected and all water quality requirements continue to be met,” Manson said.

Water clarity should improve over the next 24 hours, Manson said at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

“The Concord Water Resources Department is closely monitoring the cloudiness in the raw and finished water supply and making additional treatment adjustments as needed,” Manson said.

The lake also is closed to boaters and others until levels improve, according to the city’s website.

Private boats, kayaks, swimming and bank fishing aren’t permitted on the lake, but the Concord Parks and Recreation Department rents jon boats with life jackets and oars to the public when levels are fine, according to ConcordNC.gov.

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