One of the key measures of water quality at the Yadkin Project is the level of dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water being released from the dams.
APGI is committed to helping improve the water quality in the Yadkin Project lakes and the Yadkin River. Recent data shows that new technology installed by APGI at Narrows Dam in 2008-2009 continues to improve DO levels downstream of the dam.
Water quality within the Yadkin Project lakes is generally considered to be good or fair. One significant challenge comes from runoff – soils and sediment that flow from neighboring communities into the Yadkin River add nutrients. High levels of nutrients lead to increased algae production and can result in lower DO levels.
Water quality at the Yadkin Project is regulated by the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Quality (DWQ).
The Yadkin Project is subject to the following state standards related to DO levels: a minimum of 4.0 mg/L (measured instantaneously) and a minimum of 5.0 mg/L (daily average).
Once the 401 and the final FERC license are finalized, additional upgrades in equipment and operation will provide additional DO enhancement and higher levels of DO throughout the project to meet North Carolina’s standards regarding minimum levels of DO.
Monitoring Dissolved Oxygen Levels
APGI closely monitors DO levels in the tailwaters of each dam. The monitors record DO and temperature data every 15 minutes, 7 days a week, between May 1 and November 30, the time when DO concentrations are of greatest concern. The monitors in the Narrows and Falls tailwaters have been operating since 2001; monitors to the Tuckertown and High Rock tailwaters were added in 2003.