Regulators To Require Testing For Chemicals In Wastewater Along Cape Fear River Basin

Regulators To Require Testing For Chemicals In Wastewater Along Cape Fear River Basin

4:17pm May 10, 2019
The city of Greensboro is purchasing 2.5 acres near the Mitchell plant to build a new water treatment facility that will house a granular activated carbon system to remove PFAS and other contaminants found in the drinking water supply. Picture by Guilford County GIS Viewer courtesy of the Greensboro Water Resources Department

State environmental regulators are requiring several municipalities in the Cape Fear River Basin to begin monitoring for unregulated and potentially harmful chemicals in wastewater. Greensboro and High Point are among 25 communities that will begin the process this summer.

Data reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency shows elevated levels of certain chemicals in the Cape Fear River Basin. The state has also found compounds like 1,4 dioxane and PFAS in the waterway.

That’s why the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality wants municipalities like Greensboro to help them figure out who is receiving the pollutants and how big the problem really is.

In a recent letter, regulators say the municipalities are required to test for the chemicals that are used in manufacturing and in several household products.

Michael Borchers, with Greensboro’s water resources department, says the city has already been voluntarily sharing sampling results for these compounds with the state. He says they’ve also been working with local businesses and industries to reduce the potential for their release in the environment.

“[State regulators] are trying to put together a management strategy to where these chemicals can be eliminated, certainly reduced, because a lot of places don’t remove it. It goes right through the wastewater plant and then downstream,” says Borchers.

DEQ says the municipalities in the Cape Fear River Basin will begin monitoring in July for three consecutive months.

*Follow WFDD’s Keri Brown on Twittter @kerib_news

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