North Carolina is home to fifty-nine different lakes. The state’s geography is divided into three sections: the coastal plain on the eastern, the Piedmont region in central North Carolina, and the Appalachian Mountains on the western part of the state. Most of the lakes are located in central North Carolina. Lake Norman, which is the deepest lake In North Carolina, is located in Charlotte in the western region of the state. Lake Norman is not the newest lake. It’s the deepest manmade lake, however, but not the newest. Keep reading below to discover the newest lake in North Carolina.
What Is The Newest Lake In North Carolina?
Randleman Lake was officially finished by the state in 2004. One of the main intents is to fulfill the water drinking needs of the greater Greensboro area. Another purpose of the lake is to provide extra recreational opportunities for the citizens.
Randleman Lake’s HistoryEmbed from Getty Images
Because of those growing water needs, the USACE (The United States Army Corps of Engineers) proposed the plan for the lake in 1937. One of the original intentions in 1937 was to utilize it as a flood-control lake. Plenty of setbacks pushed the construction of the lake back many decades. Some issues involving permits, budget cuts, and regulations pushed the lake’s construction to the 2000s.
In the late eighties, six different governments formed the Piedmont Triad Water Authority after the federal government withdrew from the project. Even going into the 2000s, there were many people against the lake project.
Pushback from Environmentalists
The Greensboro News & Record published a 1999 article about the environmentalists who were against the construction of the lake and the dam. The water shortages going on at the time still didn’t convince some people that Randleman Lake was worth all the money. A reason the environmentalists were against the construction was because they thought it was all a mistake. They were convinced that the area was a bad location to provide drinking water for the greater Greensboro area.
A resident at the time, Kenton, stated he didn’t want to pay for the damn nor drink anything from it. His reasoning behind that statement was due to the assumption of algae clogging up the dam from the Deep River. He also said that the Deep River which would pour into Randleman Lake would be unsafe to drink from because the water was already contaminated by waste from the High Point sewage place.
Kenton’s perspective was contradictory to the purpose of the dam. The eighteen billion-gallon lake would produce over forty-eight million gallons of water per day. The one hundred forty million dollar cost of the project was evenly distributed to the regions in the greater Greensboro area.
Overcoming Decades of Adversity
After many years of delays, construction for the lake was underway in 2000. The lake and the dam were finished four years later. Shortly after the lake and the dam opened in 2004, the plan for the water treatment center was underway. One of the prior controversies was how to filter the water from the High Point sewage place to ensure the community gets clean water. The water treatment center began construction in 2008. Two years later, the water treatment center became the newest addition to the lake.
Around the perimeter of the lake, there’s a two-hundred-foot-wide buffer to prevent contamination of the water supply. Not only that would help the freshwater, but it would also help the wildlife in the area. The plan included the inclusion of several parks for wildlife and hikers to experience nature and a friendly ecosystem. The freshwater would be a great place for fish to live and also for fishermen to get their catch of the day.
Good news for fishers: the North Carolina Wildlife Rescue Commission gifted the lake over 120,000 largemouth basses along with sixty thousand channel catfishes in 2010.
The Lake Today
No people are allowed to swim in Randleman Lake since it is a fresh drinking water source but people can access the lake in different areas. The newest lake in North Carolina is a source of fresh drinking water for the western part of North Carolina. People can fish and sail over there at most locations of the lake. There are piers specifically for fishing as some people can’t fish in some areas. Sailboats are okay to have on the lake as long as they’re not over twelve feet tall. A twenty-five mph speed limit is enforced in all motorized areas.
Randleman Lake is the newest lake in North Carolina. The lake itself was finished in 2004. The water treatment plant at the lake officially opened in 2010. Its history spans almost an entire century with initial plans beginning in 1937. However, many decades of permit issues, protests, and even the federal government backing out of the plan to make the lake pushed its creation back. In 2021, there were concerns about the treatment of the lake. A large trash cleaning initiative took place to preserve Randleman Lake as a clean source of drinking water
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Wirestock/iStock via Getty Images
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