Randleman Reservoir

History of Randleman Lake



  • 1937: US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) proposed a dam on the Deep River above Randleman as part of a systematic flood control plan for the Cape Fear River basin.
  • 1968: The U.S. Congress authorized the $11 million, 3,000 acre Randleman Lake project. This project was designed to provide flood control, water supply and recreation.
  • 1976: The USACE outlined the Randleman project in its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The lake was expected to provide 48 million gallons of water per day, most of which would be used by Guilford County municipalities. At that time, the entire project was expected to cost $61.4 million.
  • 1980: The Randleman project appeared closer to reality as local governments and area elected officials announced their support of the project. Regional authorities such as the Piedmont-Triad Council of Governments (PTCOG) began to lobby for federal funding, while the backers of the project foresaw an acute need for the lake's water, and also envisioned the lake bringing dramatic growth to the area. Also at this time, about 30 opponents of the dam met at New Market Community Center to organize what eventually became the Deep River Citizens Coalition. The cost of the project was now estimated at $135 million. Cities seeking the lake's water were to pay $63 million of that amount.
  • 1985: The water supply alternatives study by the consulting firm of CH2M Hill, requested by PTCOG, stated that the Randleman Dam was the best alternative of the 40 options the firm examined.
  • 1986: The Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority (PTRWA) was formed by the cities of Archdale, Greensboro, High Point, and Randleman, the town of Jamestown, and the county of Randolph, to make the Randleman Lake water supply arrangements.
  • 1987: After spending $6.1 million on engineering, surveying, planning and environmental impact statements, the Corps of Engineers declared that the cost of the Randleman Dam would outweigh the flood control benefits of building it, and withdrew its support. Later that year, the PTRWA proposed a smaller Randleman Dam project, to be funded by local governments desiring to use Randleman lake water. The cost was estimated at $57 million rather than the Corps' $135 million, and would require 6,000 acres of land rather than the original 10,000. All of the flood control and recreational features of the Corps project were deleted from the PTRWA plan.
  • 1988: The PTRWA began purchasing land for the lake and dam. Also, the Randolph commissioners voted to limit development in the area in order to protect the lake's watershed. By the end of the year, the Conservation Council of NC, the Audubon Society, the Clean Water Fund of NC, the Deep River Citizens Coalition, the Sierra Club and the League of Woman Voters asked the administration of Gov. Jim Martin for a new environmental impact statement on the Randleman Dam project, saying the Corps' 1976 statement was "inadequate and out of date."
  • 1990: Water Quality and Quantity Studies conducted by Black and Veatch, Inc. show water quality acceptable for public water supply.
  • 1991: A new environmental impact statement was presented by the PTRWA. Biological and aquatic studies were begun on the project area. Based on the new EIS, the state's Environmental Management Commission (EMC) granted the PTRWA the powers of eminent domain and the transfer of water from the Deep River to the Haw River.
  • 1994: The PTRWA prepared their wetland mitigation plan to satisfy both their Section 404 requirements with the Corps and their 401 requirements with NC DWQ. The plan includes the preservation of approximately 700 acres of cypress swamp on the Black River and the restoration/creation of 120 acres of bottomland hardwood wetlands within the Randleman Lake watershed.
  • 1995: Preliminary design work on dam began.
  • 1996: Archaeological and architectural studies of the project area were started. Design work on the dam and land acquisition continued.
  • 1997: The draft of the third environmental impact statement was prepared and released for public comments in October.
  • 1998: Additional studies which address the contaminated Seaboard Chemical and Landfill Sites located adjacent to the Deep River, were completed. The study, done by Tetra Tech, Inc., determined that concentrations of toxins at all locations in the lake will be well less than any applicable federal and state water quality or drinking water standards.
  • November 12, 1998, the NC Environmental Management Commission (EMC) classified all waters of the Randleman Lake Watershed (from the source of the Deep River to the Randleman Lake Dam) for water supply uses and designated the area as a Critical Water Supply Watershed. With this designation, the EMC adopted a set of rules commonly referred to as the Randleman Lake Water Supply Watershed Nutrient Management Strategy.
  • 1999: Archaeological studies were completed. March 11, 1999, the NCDWQ officially determined that construction of Randleman Lake would not result in a violation of Water Quality Standards or discharge guidelines and issued a Certification pursuant to Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act to the PTRWA.
  • 2000: December, 2000 The final version of the third Federal Environmental Impact Statement for the Randleman Lake Project was published.
  • April 6, 2001:The PTRWA received from the USACE a Department of Army Permit to discharge fill material into Section 404 waters and wetlands for the construction of a dam on the Deep River.
  • August 7, 2001 Construction on the Randleman Lake Dam officially began.
  • Jan. 2008: Ready for the next phase, which includes building a water treatment plant, pump stations and water lines. The expected cost is $57 million. Construction is expected to take 24 to 30 months.
  • July 2008: The Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority picked Aug. 7 as the tentative groundbreaking for its $40 million water treatment plant, targeted for completion by late 2010. Work starts on laying the pipeline along U.S. 311 that eventually will carry water to Archdale, Randleman and other parts of Randolph County. The Authority voted unanimously to hire Tritech Civil Environmental of Asheboro to do the redesign on pump station.
  • Feb 2009: The Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority hired Steve Pope as plant superintendent to prepare for the opening and to begin coordinating that process with the six local governments that make up the authority.
  • May 12, 2009: The Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority votes in favor of a recommendation from its recreation committee to open the lake March 1, 2010
  • Mar 2, 2010: Randleman Regional Reservoir opens for boating and fishing.
  • Mar 9, 2010: Scientific tests consistently show the water in Randleman Regional Reservoir equal in quality to Greensboro’s other water-supply lakes.
  • Aug 2010: Test runs for producing drinking water are conducted and are aimed at securing final approval from state environmental officials.
  • Oct. 4, 2010: Water from Randleman Regional Reservoir begins to flow to consumers in Greensboro, High Point and other parts of two counties. The part of the John F. Kime Water Treatment Plant that opened today will eventually produce up to 12 million gallons of drinking water per day.
  • June 2011: Authority officials say that the completed project cost is $4.5 million less than expected, with a final cost of $63.2 million. Greensboro will get almost $2.2 million and High Point will get just over $746,000 in rebates. (Pre-construction estimate for the water plant alone was $42,994,250, and the final cost was $42,993,619).


Sources: The Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority, News & Record Archive
Also See: Randleman Lake and Dam Clip File; Seaboard Chemical Clip File

Randleman Lake Map

Recreation Guidelines for Randleman Lake


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