Is something growing in the Cape Fear River?

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Submitted: Fri, 08/08/2014 - 2:47am
Updated: Fri, 08/08/2014 - 4:28pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– If you live in Southeastern North Carolina the Cape Fear River is likely your drinking water.

Could algae be tainting it?

Kemp Burdette the Cape Fear Riverkeeper says runoff from animal farms give the cape fear the nutrients it needs for algae to grow.

“If you give algae a lot of nutrients and you do that when conditions are ideal for growth,” says Burdette, “Then it will grow and it will grow very quickly.”

This is exactly what happened in Toledo, Ohio, leaving them without drinking water for days.

“What occurred in Toledo isn’t going to happen here,” Mike McGill with CFPUA says, with confidence.

He says the technology at the Sweeny water treatment plant is so advanced.

“We use ozone and biologically active carbon filters to treat the water and that does the trick on the algae,” McGill says. “This is not a concern for CFPUA’s customers. Our process kills the algae, destroys it, and removes it from the system.”

The water from your tap goes through a multi stage process involving, purification with ozone, and UV cleaning before it ever makes it to you.

It’s something Toledo doesn’t have and they admit that costs you more. A trade off they say is well worth it in the end.

“Because we have our treatment process and its set the way it is we don’t necessarily have to worry about the effects of an algae bloom,” says McGill.

They keep an eye on it just in case knowing tools are there to kill the problem before it becomes a problem.


  • Guest123 says:

    The Algae can’t afford CPFUA fees, so we definitely won’t see it get in our system.

  • Don Blanchard says:

    …because of the foresight to build such a technically advanced treatment plant, you don’t have to worry about what happened in Toledo, Ohio.

    I suspect your probably happy complaining about things regardless…like if suddenly you had no drinking water due to a similar algae-bloom occurrence, it would be CFPUA’s fault that they didn’t have ozone and UV filtration. Infrastructure costs money.

    You probably don’t mind drinking hog lagoon waste.

  • Clemson Bemson says:

    Probly is. Aint sure what but I’m thinking one time I done seen something move.

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