WHITE LAKE, N.C. (WECT) – A conversation that has been going on for almost a decade now is raising more concerns and frustrations among residents.
“I feel like we’re losing an opportunity to maintain what I would consider a pristine lake. I’m a little saddened by the fact that our lake has somewhat degraded in clarity,” said White Lake resident Bo Barefoot.
Residents like Bo Barefoot remember the crystal clear water that used to be White Lake, and now they want a permanent solution to get that back. ”We feel like we’re being reactive rather than proactive. To have a scientist on board for 3 or 4 years now, to have done a treatment and that treatment seems to have declined to the point that the water is bad again,” said Barefoot.
An alum treatment was started on the lake back in 2018, and it was completed in 2019 once there was improvement. But, officials say that was only meant to be a short-term solution. Since then, the water quality has continued to decline, leaving many residents frustrated.
“I think we as residents we are simply looking for answers.” Answers to questions like ‘what is causing this cloudy look?’ and ‘what can be done to get the lake back to its original clear state?’
Sean Martin, Town Administrator for White Lake, said “we continue to work with our state leaders about a long-term solution that is scientifically backed with data that supports not just a safe lake, but a clear and healthy lake as well.”
Increased boater and recreational usage of the lake over the years has seemed to stir up sediment, contributing to the lake’s now murky look. But, scientists continue to collect data to determine what kind of treatment would be best for a long-term solution. Data is collected by experts on both a local and state level on a monthly basis, and the town provides a report with that data each month.
“So having the right people at the table for the conversations will go a long way in moving that needle back from reactive towards proactive,” said Martin.
With the right people, residents hope to see more action in finding a more permanent solution.
“I wish we could get it back to at least 70% or 75% of what it once was,” said Barefoot.
Martin noted that it’s important to hear from members of the community as town officials continue working with the state and other agencies to fix the ongoing issue.
“You know it’s not something that happened overnight, and it’s probably not something that we can solve overnight, and hopefully we can find the quote on quote lightswitch solution,” said Martin.
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