New Hanover County first in NC to partner with DEQ for new water sampling tests


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A new day for a local landfill. New Hanover County Environmental Managers announced a new partnership with the DEQ to sample wastewater for chemicals like GenX.

The DEQ always samples the water throughout the state, but this time, they will be following a new sampling protocol. New Hanover County will be the first in North Carolina to participate in the sampling.

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It sounds like a simple process.

“Basically like taking a pot of clean water and then brewing coffee with it. Our job is to take all of that brown coffee out of there and return it back to its original state, which is clean water again,” said New Hanover County Environmental Management Director Joe Suleyman.

They do this by using reserve osmosis, a system New Hanover County installed at the landfill a few years ago. Suleyman says it basically double and then triple checks the wastewater.

Now the county will partner with the DEQ to test a new sampling protocol.

“We know we’re downstream from drinking water opportunities. It’s just to ensure that the PFAS is not being added to from this facility, to ensure that human health is priority,” said New Hanover County Health Director Phillip Tarte.

Tarte says this sampling will test for contaminants like GenX.

Suleyman says with the RO system, they are even more confident that they are getting rid of these contaminants.

“It’s very important that a system like this, treat effectively that kind of wastewater, so we have a high level of confidence that what we’re discharging to the river is good, clean water,” said Suleyman.

The sampling will take place in February, with results hopefully available in March. Once the DEQ receives those results, they will be shared with the public.