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Mountain Island Lake (NC)
The lake also supports Riverbend Steam Station by cooling the steam that drives the turbines and provides a dependable water supply for Mount Holly, Gastonia and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina.
Mountain Island Lake is a lake northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina created in 1924 to coincide with the building of Mountain Island Hydroelectric Station. It is named after the mountain which appears as an island in the lake, and the surrounding area is identified by the lake's name. The shape of the lake follows the meander of the Catawba river's course, dammed near the Mount Holly Wastewater Plant. Full pond elevation is approximately 647.5 feet. The lake has around 3,281 acres of surface area and 61 miles of shoreline.
Mountain Island Lake is fed by the Catawba River, and is the smallest of the three man-made lakes that border Mecklenburg County, North Carolina (Lake Norman, and Lake Wylie). Mountain Island Lake is managed by Charlotte-based company Duke Energy. The primary function of Mountain Island Lake is to provide drinking water for over 800,000 residents of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, as well as Mount Holly and Gastonia, Gaston County. The lake is also accessible to the public for boating and fishing use. There are two boating access areas on the lake and a tailrace fishing platform for bank fishing in cooperation with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources is planning a consent order for Duke Energy plants on the lake which have left local groundwater contaminated with high levels of heavy metals such as arsenic and cobalt. The discharge has come from a lack of lining in older coal ash ponds containing namesake waste which threatens the water quality of Mountain Island Lake's ecosystem and has as of August 2013 warranted over $99,000 worth of fines.
Lakes Online Website for Mountain Island Lake: Mountain-Island.LakesOnline.com.