Jordan Lake Rules

The B. Everett Jordan Reservoir (Jordan Lake) is a multi-use impoundment located in the Cape Fear River Basin and is operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The lake was formed with the construction of a dam on the Haw River and covers an area of 13,940 acres. Jordan Lake is operated to provide flood control, water supply, protection of water quality downstream, fish and wildlife conservation, and recreation. Protection of the lake and surrounding forest is critical to ensure a safe and reliable drinking water supply and to provide habitat for many plant and animal species.


Jordan Lake consists of two separate arms (Haw River Arm and New Hope Creek Arm). Apex is located in what is considered the lower portion of the New Hope Arm.

Jordan Lake


The Jordan Water Supply Watershed Nutrient Management Strategy Rules (Jordan Lake Rules) were approved by the North Carolina State Legislature in 2009 to reduce algal growth and other water quality related problems resulting from excess nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus). The requirements outlined in this strategy are similar to those already in place in the Neuse River Basin. However, these rules go further by requiring all local governments located within the watershed to require stormwater controls on new and existing development.


The Town of Apex has implemented various water quality and quantity programs within its jurisdiction for some time beginning in 1990 with the Swift Creek Land Management Plan. Other water quality programs in place in Apex include water supply watershed protection, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II, and the protection of riparian buffers.

Apex has initiated the Jordan Lake Stage I Adaptive Management Strategy Program to address nutrient loading from existing development. In addition to the six minimum measures already in place as part of the Town’s Phase II permit, Apex is also required to annually identify two potential stormwater control measures (SCMs) retrofit locations within existing development. The NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will determine in the future if Apex will be required to actually construct these identified SCM retrofits.

In 2012, the NC governor signed bills that delayed the required implementation date of the Jordan Lake New Development Rule (15A NCAC 02b.0265).  Local governments were given the option of delaying implementation of their local Jordan stormwater programs.  Apex plans to adopt and implement the Jordan Lake new development stormwater rules as required.