Wetlands in the reservoir
|Location||Wilson County, North Carolina|
|Primary inflows||Turkey Creek and Moccasin Creek|
|Primary outflows||Contentnea Creek|
|Basin countries||United States|
|Surface area||2,300 acres (9.3 km2)|
|Surface elevation||146 ft (45 m)|
Buckhorn Reservoir is a reservoir in Wilson County, North Carolina created by the Buckhorn Dam. The reservoir is the primary water supply for the city of Wilson, North Carolina. The original Buckhorn Dam was built in 1974, 1,000 feet (300 m) upstream from the current dam. The reservoir at that time only had the ability to contain 800 million US gallons (3,000,000 m3) of water. In 1999, a new dam was constructed downstream from the older dam creating a reservoir with a much larger capacity. The new Buckhorn Reservoir covers an area of 2,300 acres (9.3 km2), and has a capacity of 7 billion US gallons (26,000,000 m3) when fully filled.
The dam itself is one-half mile long and was built with expansion in mind. The top of the dam was built to an elevation of 159 feet (48 m) above sea level, however the lake is only filled to the 148-foot (45 m) elevation. The dam is capable of holding another 6 feet (1.8 m) of water, but that would require changes to the spillway design. A recent drought in 2007 caused the reservoir to drop to the 60% capacity level, which has elevated the issue of increasing the capacity of the lake.
The reservoir is fed by two streams, Turkey Creek and Moccasin Creek. Water to be treated is not drawn from the reservoir itself, rather the outflow from the dam travels down Contentnea Creek to the Wiggins Mill reservoir, where the water is treated at the Wiggins Mill Water Treatment Plant.