Belews Creek Coal Ash Testing Yields Confusion For Residents
State-supervised testing of drinking water near Duke Energy's Belews Creek coal ash storage pond is inconclusive. Residents remain uncertain as to how safe it is to drink local well water.
Officials tested only six wells near the 342-acre storage pond near Walnut Cove.
The News and Record reports independent labs found problems in five of those wells, but the flaws are considered fairly common, without a strong link to coal ash residue.
The problems were too much iron, vanadium, and manganese, which are naturally occurring metals.
Some residents received letters from the state suggesting they not drink or cook with well water.
But state officials acknowledged the letters were confusing, since they also told residents that water was safe under federal law.
Recipients of the well-test letters did not include any residents near the retired Dan River Steam Station at the edge of Eden, the Triad’s other ash pond site. Wells in that area have not yet been tested.