Latest CFPUA testing shows level below GenX threshold; GAC testing equipment arrives

Latest CFPUA testing shows level below GenX threshold; GAC testing equipment arrives

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The latest test results received by the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority show that GenX levels in the water system are below the Department of Health and Human Services health goal.

Results from Eurofins' independent testing of samples taken from the Sweeney Water Plant show a GenX concentration of 137 parts per trillion from a sample taken on July 19 and a concentration of 115 ppt from a July 20 sample.

The DHHS health advisory goal is 140 ppt.

GenX is an unregulated chemical that was discharged into the Cape Fear River by the Chemours Company at its Fayetteville Works site.

CFPUA also announced it received equipment arrived yesterday for the pilot testing of granular activated carbon (GAC) at the Sweeney Water Plant.

The testing station is being constructed on site, and the tests are designed to give CFPUA an idea of how effective GAC is in the removal of GenX and other per-fluorinated compounds.

"GAC adsorption is a water treatment process that uses a granular media produced from carbon-based materials such as coal, coconut shells, peat, or wood that have been 'activated' by heat and sometimes other manufacturing steps to yield the desired properties," CFPUA said in a release. "There are many types of GAC media, and selection of an effective carbon for a given situation is frequently based on site-specific testing.

"GAC is implemented in water treatment in one of two roles: as a filter-absorber, providing both filtration and adsorption functions or, as a post-filter contactor in which adsorption is the primary treatment objective. As the adsorptive capacity of the GAC becomes exhausted, microbial growth on the GAC can be used to convert some of the chemicals in the water to cell mass. This is referred to as biofiltration. The GAC filters at the Sweeney plant operate as biofilters."

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