N. Carolina cities squabbling over plans to clean up lake

RALIEGH, N.C. — Durham holds a lot of sway over the quality of the water Raleigh and much of Wake County drinks. And on the subject of cleaning up the primary source of that water — Falls Lake — the two cities have a major difference of opinion.

No question, Falls Lake -- the reservoir serving 435,000 Wake County residents -- is polluted. No question, it must be cleaned up and better protected against future pollution. The question is -- when?

Raleigh says now. Durham says later. Either way, it could be very expensive for taxpayers. Estimates for a similar cleanup program at Jordan Lake run to more than $2 billion. And more than taxpayer dollars are at stake -- in the name of preventing present and future pollution of Falls Lake, the new rules could place significant and potentially pricey restrictions on developers, homebuilders and homeowners, local governments, road construction and agriculture.

July 1 was the deadline for the N.C. Division of Water Quality to have a cleanup plan for Falls Lake. They're still working on it.

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