1. Measure depth of water and understand possible variations of lake levels

I always bring my tape measure when showing waterfront properties so that we can measure the depth of the water where your boat would be to make sure it has deep enough water for your type of boat etc. I check that morning to find out the current water level of Lake Norman so we can calculate the lowest and highest water depths of your pier/dock/boat slip.  The water levels of Lake Norman are controlled by Duke Energy and vary from full pond, 100′ (760′ above sea level) down to about 94′.  They use the dam at the south end of the lake to help regulate the water levels.

  1. 50′ Setback

The most recent regulations established in 2006 establish a 50′ setback from the 760 line.  Within this 50′ setback from the lake to your home there are strict regulations outlined in detail in the Shoreline Management Guidelines.  They are meant to protect the 50′ closest to the lake by prohibiting removal of trees and native vegetation, planting of lawns, and size of footpaths.  Older properties may violate these rules but they are “grandfathered in”.

  1. Shoreline Stabilization like Seawalls and rip rap:

One of the focuses of the Shoreline Management Guidelines is to protect the water quality and achieve some environmental conservation goals.  They have specific rules about what you can and can’t do to your shoreline.  For example,  a sea wall will only be allowed now where an eroded bank is less than 3′ high.  Bio-engineering or enhanced rip rap are the only stabilization techniques allowed in areas where the eroded bank is less than 2′ high.  Again, check the guidelines before undertaking any work on your shoreline.

  1. Lake water irrigation

One of the bonuses with a waterfront home on Lake Norman is that many have permitted pumps to use lake water for irrigating your gardens.  Look for white pvc pipes at your shoreline.

  1. Duke Energy Shoreline Management Guidelines

I really just scratched the surface.  To learn more:


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