University Lake Flashboard Replacement Project

University Lake is OWASA’s original raw water supply. It was formed in 1932 after the construction of the local dam was commissioned by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Water from the lake was originally piped to a filtration plant at UNC, but today it is treated at OWASA’s Water Treatment Plant on Jones Ferry Road.

The construction of the dam at the lake included a series of flashboards – lengths of timber placed on top of the dam’s spillway – which enable increased water storage capacity in the lake. OWASA will begin replacing the flashboards in January 2019. This is the second time in the history of the lake that flashboards have been replaced. This $300,000 investment in safe and reliable water storage is scheduled to take place from January to April.


Throughout this time, OWASA will keep some of the flashboards lowered to decrease lake levels by about four feet, in order to accommodate the required work. The new Flashboards will be installed with a membrane that has UV-resistant and leak proof technology to add additional life to the boards. During the project, community members may see the water level decrease at University Lake, a barge on the water surface, and some materials stored at the University Lake Office Parking Lot.

OWASA has two primary water sources: University Lake and Cane Creek Reservoir, both of which are at 100% capacity. Water supply to the treatment plant and customers will not be affected. To read more about the community’s water supply and recreational opportunities at University Lake and Cane Creek Reservoir, please visit