WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Drinking water from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority’s Richardson Water Treatment Plant is free of PFAS compounds but PFAS were detected in three wells, according to monitoring conducted by CFPUA.
The Richardson plant provides water to the second largest of CFPUA's three drinking water distribution systems, serving customers in northern New Hanover County communities like Murrayville, Wrightsboro, Porters Neck and parts of Castle Hayne and Ogden. Wells in the Castle Hayne and PeeDee aquifers are the groundwater source for the Richardson plant.
On March 27, CFPUA sampled finished water at three wells — two serving the plant and an emergency well that doesn't provide drinking water — in an effort to monitor potential movement of PFAS compounds that have been detected in and near an aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) well.
While no PFAS were detected in the finished water, they were found in water from the wells. For the two Richardson wells, the totals of all PFAS compounds were 36 and 65 parts per trillion. The state Department of Health and Human Services has established a health goal of 140 ppt for PFAS.
The third well tested in March — the one not in operation or contributing to CFPUA's drinking water system — had a PFAS concentration of 180 ppt.
“Not enough information is available to determine whether the PFAS found in the water from the three wells migrated from the ASR,” CFPUA said in a news release. “Groundwater typically migrates relatively slowly — perhaps 15 feet a year — and the wells are 2 to 3 miles from the ASR.”
For results from the March 27 testing, click here.
The majority of PFAS compounds in the wells are found downstream from Chemours’ Fayetteville Works plant and make up a significant portion of the PFAS routinely found by CFPUA in raw river water.
CFPUA said in the release it has shared results with the NC Department of Environmental Quality and asked NCDEQ for guidance in addressing groundwater affected by PFAS.