ONLY ON 3: New CFPUA well leading to ‘nasty’ water for some customers

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Submitted: Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:49pm
Updated: Tue, 02/26/2013 - 11:31pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A new irrigation well on Westbrook Ave. and Military Cutoff Road in Wilmington is already causing problems for customers. They say it’s keeping them from using the water in their homes.

CFPUA says it’s received multiple complaints about the quality of the water and is trying to figure out what’s going on.

Last week CFPUA began testing water problem believed to be a result of a new well. One customer we talked with says it’s downright disgusting.

“The smell is nasty,” George Page said. “It’s like sewer smell. They said sulfur. I think more like sewer, and it comes out clear, but turns yellow within minutes.”

Page says his water has an oily film on top after sitting for a couple of minutes. He says he cannot shower or drink the water at his house, because it makes him sick.

“It started out with nausea Saturday morning about two hours after I drank water, and then I got a headache, which I’ve had ever since, and then Sunday morning I took a shower. I didn’t think nothing about the water, and I broke out in hives,” he said. “I’m still itching today. I’ve been eating Benadryl like candy.”

CFPUA is investigating what is causing the problem. The utility hopes to find a solution to Gage’s problem and provide water when customers may want it most.

“The benefit is when we have periods of high demand during the summer, and say we have a period of drought during the summer, we have more supply to serve the community than we would have before,” CFPUA spokesman Mike McGill said.

CFPUA is reducing the flow rate and pressure to monitor the situation for a couple of days. They will see if anything improves or continues and then make a decision.

In the meantime, Page has to buy bottled water.


  • Guest6969696969 says:

    “What we have actually done it is construct an aquifer storage recovery system. This system places millions of gallons of treated water underground into an aquifer during periods of lower demand like the wintertime.”

    Mr.McGill, I hate to “inform” you and Our fair Coummunity, YOU cannot “Construct” something which is ALREADY there…

    So “In Theory” you pumped treated, Chemical Laden water(s) DOWN into ALREADY existing aquifer(s), not knowing if or ANY chemical “reactions” would or will occur in the afore-mentioned aquifer(s),(Or did you have a “consultant(s) “test”?), That are ALSO prone too, wait for it,

      Salt water Intrusion?

    Mr McGill, So please inform the “taxpayers” & Customers of CFPUA, exactly “WHICH”, underlying “Aquifer(s)”, AND at what “DEPTH” did the Authority pump all these million(s) of gallons of Water DOWNHOLE?
    As there are about 5 Aquifer(s) at different depths here in SouthEastern NC..
    There are, if memory serves correctly,, the Upper&lower Cape fear/Castle Hayne/Black River and the Pee Dee Aquifer(s)? With each having a different Geology; Sand/clay/silt/fine sand and Limestone, in addition to different Chemical make-up(s) etc for each….
    All which are basiclly Under-ground rivers that DO NOT stay in one exact place… Which is WHY some folks, close to the coast NOW are experiencing Salt water intrusion into their well(s)….(As reported in Starnews a few years back)…
    From drawing “too much” water from said Aquifer(s) over the years…
    I believe that CFPUA just “wasted” millions of gallons, AND our Monies,, pumping all this Chemical laden water “downhole”, possibly Ruining the Aquifer(s) themselves at different depths…….In addition to “construction Cost(s)”?

    In addition, NOW that those millions of gallons of “treated” water that was pumped “downhole”, when; re-extracted has to be “re-treated”, Before being used in OUR Water system! With possible Salt-Water intrusion to boot! Making it ‘useless”?….
    So, I really have to ask, WHOM, or “who’s” great Idea came up with this “boondoggle”?
    How much will this “problem” cost the CFPUA Customers to rectify? (if it can be even/ever done; if at all?)
    DID ya’ll know Points NORTH, in other words, some of the cities & (beach) Communities in the NC/VA border, and Barrier Island(s), have “tried” this exact same thing with Less than satisfatory results?
    IF, (I don’t know the details on this project), IF; CFPUA “created” some kind of Huge Cavern “downhole”, to hold all these Millions of gallons of water, let’s say in the Castle Hayne Aquifer, thats mostly Limestone & sandy Limestone, You just may possibly created a Disaster in comparision to what happened in Louisiana with Lake Peigneur in 1986, or the “current” one thats swallowing “acres” of Land currently..
    Givin the *History*, that is CFPUA in it’s current from, it wouldn’t surprise a great many residents here, (and else-where) that you have created a >insert thesis here<___________… That’s possibly going to cost Wilmington, New hanover Co, a HUGE amount of Money; that May Bankrupt BOTH the City & County over this ManMade, (what-ever happens?) up-coming possible Disaster Movie…
    Maybe it’ll be big enough to swallow Wrightsville Beach or Landfall proper,,,(then it could REALLY be named “Landfall”), (Sarcism),,, ;)
    Not saying it would-of been “cheaper”, though; wouldn’t this lil problem been better utilized by constructing a “BIG LAKE”,(Much like Fayettville has, a lake & Dam system), to hold Millions of gallons of water, While at the same time creating a much needed Boating & Rec Area/Park? that would have been More enviromentaly friendly geologicly, while also benifiting wildlife etc, etc?
    Or have a secondary pick-up system upstream on the NE cape Fear? As I understand We have “one” on the Cape fear Proper, Why not a “second” on the N.E. Cape Fear? Say in the Castle Hayne area(s)?
    Again Inquiring Minds want to know Mr. McGill…
    No Disrespect intended, though I honestly think ya’ll really messed up some Geology & permanently Damaging the Aquifer(s)(that were in Dire strights to begin with); in & around those area(s) for miles around your “WELL”, that will never be fixed, as it took MILLIONS of years to create these Aquifers….
    Final thought… Yes, you just *MAY HAVE* Constructed exactly what was “quoted”; one HUGE Irrigation well, that will be good for nothing else, maybe NOT even that…

  • 69isafool says:

    First, off…Mr. McGill is a spokesman for the authority. He has to craft reasonable amounts of information which are then heavily edited and dumbed-down for the masses who can only accept their sound bites in small bite-sized chunks.

    Mr. McGill is not a hydrologist, a geologist, a PE, or any of the other things you presume that he is by your smart-assed post. He goes to those people, get the information that he thinks the media wants, then disseminates it. After that, it is up to them to package it however they want.

    I’m certain that CFPUA has all the federal and state permits required and appropriate for this project. They didn’t invent the technology which is used successfully all over the world. Do you really believe the Federal/State government gave CFPUA millions of dollars in grant money on a whim with now oversight into what they were doing? I for one believe you are all hat, no cattle.

    In fact, an ASR well can prevent salt-water intrusion simply because of the molecular differences between salt water and fresh water.’s not like they are dumping gasoline down into the acquifer. You use of the word “chemicals” shows your ignorant, misuse of context. It’s those chemicals that turn upstream hog lagoon Cape Fear River water into something the entire population drinks everyday.

    Better put another layer of tinfoil on your hat.

  • aquifer says:

    Vog, sometimes you are brilliant in your analysis (minor league ballpark), sometimes your not (aquifer storage). This is one of those times.

    The water going into the aquifer comes from Sweeney water treatment plant and is drinkable. In fact, it comes from the Westbrook water tower. If it wasn’t going into the ground, folks would be drinking it immediately.

    The gentleman in the story is drinking existing ground water from his well. The real question should be why is a guy living right next to a water tower living in the city limits drinking irrigation well water? Me thinks he is part of the 95/98 Wilmington City annexation, and got missed, or has deliberately flown under the radar. And now, it’s CFPUA’s fault?

    If you saw the story on WWAY..well let’s just say I wouldn’t be drinking from any faucet in that house.

  • Guest tigercat says:

    I will give you one guess who is gonna pay for it. They are already asking for a rate hike from the wilmington customers

  • Mike McGill says:

    Mike McGill, Chief Communications Officer with CFPUA here. We have not installed an irrigation well. What we have actually done it is construct an aquifer storage recovery system. This system places millions of gallons of treated water underground into an aquifer during periods of lower demand like the wintertime. The system then pulls out the water during periods of high demand, like the summer, to make sure we have an adequate supply for our customers.

    The entire effort is in an initial testing phase and residents closest to the project were informed by letter that issues with their wells may occur. They were given my number and email and instruct to inform us if any problem developed. Mr. Page contacted me at 5 p.m. last night and our staff was on hand this morning to take samples and address the situation.

    We have received two complaints, Mr. Page’s and one other. We regret the inconvenience and will report the results of our sampling and testing in the coming days.


  • Vog46 says:

    The suspicion is that you’re putting polluted water back into the aquifer that is supplying drinking water to these two homes?

    “What we have actually done it is construct an aquifer storage recovery system. This system places millions of gallons of treated water underground into an aquifer during periods of lower demand like the wintertime.”

    Perhaps the treatment of the water isn’t effective?
    Where did this water come from if it was treated?
    I ask because of the discoloration and the sulphur like smell.
    Again for all you “Vog stop bashing CFPUA folks” – this is apparently the sole, exclusive fault of CFPUA. Which now stands for “Carolina’s Finest, Polluted, Underground Aquifers” (CFPUA)


  • GuestStephanie says:

    I drink mostly water due to having gestational diabetes in my last two pregnancies, but I refuse to drink the water in Wilmington. I ordered an ice water 1 time while dinning out in Wilmington. It was nasty tasting. I don’t drink sodas very often but I do when I go out now due to the nasty water here. I cant imagine how much worse it could be from over 2 yrs ago.

  • Guest-of-the-day says:

    after “fracking” becomes ubiquitous?

  • taxpayer says:

    won’t be here…relax…it will be done many, many miles west of here.

  • Guest6969696969 says:

    Strata compsition(s) for south-easter, NC.. Have you SIR/Madam?

    I have with .Gov Docs to back up My claim(s)….
    Maybe you need to look into My later “comment(s) on this Subject.
    that has LINKS inckuded!
    Or look-up & read about *Karst*
    Karst landforms are generally the result of mildly acidic water acting on weakly soluble bedrock such as limestone or dolostone. The mildly acidic water begins to dissolve the surface along fractures or bedding planes in the limestone bedrock. Over time, these fractures enlarge as the bedrock continues to dissolve. Openings in the rock increase in size, and an underground drainage system begins to develop, allowing more water to pass through the area, and accelerating the formation of underground karst features
    Credts/Link Credits, fair use, educational..
    Please read,,, here—> link–>

    Years down the road, Maybe a WHOPPER of a Sinkhole may open up?!…

  • Vog46 says:

    This is a result of an irrigation well being dug that changed the water quality to homes nearby.
    I am being lead to believe that CFPUA dug the irrigation well that caused the problem.
    All of you folks that claim I’m CFPUA bashing?
    This irrigation well is NEW.
    If it’s causing the problem then CFPUA is clearly and solely at fault – not old infrastructure, not politicians running away from a problem.

    I do wonder about the smell and color of the water. Its almost as if the house wells were put into a “plume” of pollution -but THAT would have shown up from day one wouldn’t it?


  • Guest6969696969 says:

    Is this “person” On well water Himself? Or? Is CPFUA using this ”
    new irrigation well ” for Home water use for these “customers”? Inquiring Minds wish to know…

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