WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority says the first analysis of samples of its water show lower levels of GenX compared to samples used in the study that set off the region’s concern about water safety.
CFPUA says it received the first set of results this afternoon from the lab Eurofins. CFPUA says the samples taken June 26-July 5 indicate levels of GenX are below the current NCDHHS Derived No Effect Level of 70,909 ppt.
A NC State University study of samples taken in 2013 and 2014 found GenX at levels of 631 parts per trillion (ppt) in the raw river water and at approximately 470 ppt in the finished water at Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. Those levels were much lower in the last month, CFPUA says. On June 26, five days after Chemours stopped discharging the compound into the Cape Fear River, those numbers were 149 ppt in the raw water and 156 ppt in treated water. Samples taken on July 3 showed the level of GenX in the finished water had dropped to 55.4 ppt.
The NC Department of Environmental Quality said today it has also started receiving and analyzing data from samples it has taken at multiple locations between the Chemours plant and the Wilmington area. CFPUA says based upon discussions with DEQ and the NC Department of Health and Human Services yesterday, DHHS could provide an updated health advisory for release to the public later this week or possibly early next week.
CFPUA began June 26 sampling raw and finished water at Sweeney Water Treatment Plant three days per week to test for current levels of GenX.
CFPUA says water takes around 15 hours to go through the treatment process at the plant, which means finished water samples can often be older than the raw water samples. The utility says that is why levels of GenX can be higher in finished water samples than in raw water samples.
CFPUA says it will continue three-day-a-week testing until levels of GenX remain consistently low, and will continue to update the public as new results come in.