WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has signed a contract with the University of North Carolina Wilmington to begin identifying the other per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances in the Cape Fear River, and to test the efficiency of the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant in removing them from the water.
The project is expected to last 12 months, and all subsequent findings will be made available to the general public and agencies such as NCDEQ, NCDHHS and NCEPA.
The agreement goes into effect this week on September 1st.
The utility will pay UNCW nearly $65 thousand dollars for the research and pay in monthly installments of around $5,400.
In addition to the new agreement, the CFPUA announced it will also begin a new test.
For several weeks, CFPUA has been pilot testing the effectiveness of Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) technology in removing compounds such as GenX from the water. Beginning this week, CFPUA will begin testing an additional technology known as Ion Exchange (IX).
IX is a water treatment process that applies the use of spherical particles, known as ion exchange resin. As water flows through the tank containing the resin, chemical compounds are attracted to the resin and are removed from the water.
As is the case with GAC technology, the IX resin would work until “breakthrough” is reached, at which point the old materials must be disposed of and new materials must be brought in.