Bottom line: Is it safe to drink the water?

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - We've heard a lot over the last few weeks about the safety of our local water supply.

A variety of "emerging contaminants" have been found in the Cape Fear River, including 1,4-dioxane, GenX, and other perfluoroalkyl ether carboxylic acids (PFECAs). For most people living here, those are unfamiliar chemicals, and understanding their potential effects on us is difficult if you are not an environmental engineer or water analyst.

Dr. Detlef Knappe, the NC State researcher who teamed with state regulators to study the local water supply, is perhaps the most knowledgeable expert in our area on these chemicals and their presence in the Cape Fear River. We asked him if he could help us intelligently answer the question so many people have: Bottom line, is it safe to drink the water?

Here is the letter he wrote to us in response to that question. We found it insightful and comprehensive in terms of the variety of chemicals in our water supply. We hope it is a helpful perspective for you to use in determining whether it is safe for you to drink the water in the short term, and local officials determine the best course forward for treating our water now that these emerging contaminants have been discovered.

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