Knightdale - Start Something

Knightdale is due East of Raleigh, straight out I-264 from the inner loop.  The area has a long history dating back to initial exploration in the early 1700's, but it was not until 1730 that John Hinton became the first English settler to erect a home in the area granted to him by the King of England.  Today, three of his seven plantations still stand in the Knightdale area; The Oaks, Midway, and Beaver Dam.  In 2007 a documentary film was produced called Moving Midway  which chronicles the history.  Hinton was an important figure in the early history of North Carolina as his original land grant extended into what is now Clayton, NC.  An interesting side note is that Knightdale was originally in Craven County, which was divided to form Johnston County in the 1750's, and then Johnston County was divided again in 1771 to form Wake County.  Though Hinton originally had served as Justice of the Peace and as a Colonel for the Royal Governor in New Bern, NC, he switched allegiances when the Revolutionary War began.  In February, 1776, he played a prominent role in the first Revolutionary battle on NC Soil called Moore's Creek Bridge.  Shortly after he was appointed to the Fourth Provincial Congress who passed a resolution known as the Halifax Resolve.  This document became a basis for the Declaration of Independence famously penned by Thomas Jefferson.  The area around Knightdale was originally farmland where tobacco and cotton were grown successfully, but has given way to development as Raleigh has grown to the East.


Beyond the rich history, modern day Knightdale merged utilities with The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department, now also known as Raleigh Water.  The combined utility provides water and sanitary sewer services to about 198,000 metered customers and a service population of about 600,000 people in Knightdale as well as Raleigh, Garner, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Wendell, and Zebulon areas.  The majority of the drinking water in Raleigh comes from the Falls Lake Reservoir located in Northern Wake County and is treated at the E.M. Johnson Water Treatment Plant.  Raleigh's second water plant is the Dempsey E. Benton Water Treatment Plant in southwest Wake County.  The Benton Plant collects raw water from the Swift Creek Watershed which includes both Lake Wheeler and Lake Benson. Opened in May of 2010, Dempsey Plant is the City of Raleigh’s newest treatment plant and can treat a maximum of 20 million gallons per day.


In addition to making water, the City of Raleigh manages approximately 2,500 miles of water distribution lines that provide water service to more than 450,000 people.  Drinking water must meet required health standards when it leaves the treatment plant.  After treated water leaves the plant, it is monitored within the distribution lines to identify and remedy any problems such as water main breaks, pressure variations, or growth of microorganisms.  The water is typically of a low to moderate hardness with a TDS in the range of 80 mg/L (ppm) to 180 mg/L (ppm) depending on the time of the year.  Like nearly all surface water in the South, there are high levels of organic contaminants that require excessive chemical treatment to maintain proper disinfection levels.  This is accomplished using a combination of chlorine and ammonia, or Chloramine, and is adjusted throughout the year.  In the Springtime and also in the Fall, the municipality will turn off the ammonia and run straight chlorine for a number of weeks to fully disinfect and flush out these organic contaminants from the water distribution lines.  This can cause foul odors, discolored water events, and sediments to come through the tap.  Flushing the lines when this occurs is always helpful and it is always a good idea to change any filters before, and again after these flushes have occurred.   

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