Paul Wiebke of the city's public works department got to give the City Council its update on the Jordan and Falls lake cleanup rules yesterday. He was on the council work session agenda two weeks ago, but other weighty matters ran the council out of time.
Bull's Eye reported Wiebke's report back then, based on the prepared presentation he kindly made available. In case you missed it then, here it is again (a link to the full presentation is below):
"The gist of the update, though, is not new: the rules are going to cost Durham taxpayers a lot of money.
"According to a handout the city public-works office prepared for the update, "Existing funding levels and staffing are not adequate to implement the [Jordan] rules," which Gov. Beverly Perdue signed into law this summer. Falls Lake rules have yet to be written, but public works already estimates between $3 million and $14 million for new construction and $1.2 million increase in annual chemical costs at the North Durham water-treatment plant.
"Both the lakes, which provide drinking water for more than 1 million residents of Chatham and Wake counties, have levels of nitrogen and phosphorus that exceed federal clean-water standards. Their cleanup and improved protection are required by federal and state law.
"For the South Durham water plant, Durham engineers estimate $3 million in construction costs and increased chemical costs of more than $1.1 million annually -- but the bill could go up by $30 million if new filters or other technology is required.
"Estimates for compliance cost to improve stormwater controls on existing development in the Jordan watershed had been estimated at $570 million, but amendments in the adopted rules could reduce that by more than 50 percent, according to the update."