After hearing about Cape Fear Public Utilities Authority's effort to rid GenX and other compounds from its water, CFPUA board member Kevin O'Grady urged the need for the state to make sure the chemicals are not getting into the drinking water source from the start.
"I liken this to having a leaky roof, and we've been asked to buy a lot of paint and plaster to fix the ceiling instead of the state fixing the roof," O'Grady said during the CFPUA board's meeting Wednesday. "It's going to happen again if we don't have good regulations. I think we as a board have to be formulating a resolution both to the legislature and the governor that they protect the rivers of this state. That's going to mean more robust regulations, more funding for the regulators so this doesn't happen again because we're trying to patch it up."
A motion was made and seconded to formulate a position to demand better regulatory funding and enforce regulations.
WATER QUALITY UPDATE
Executive Director Jim Flechtner addressed the board with an update on CFPUA's efforts to educate the public on GenX and to remove it and other compounds from the water.
The board also received an update on the aquifer storage and recovery well drainage project from Rick Catlin of Catlin Engineers and Scientists.
CFPUA is planning to remove approximately 48 million gallons of water stored in the Peedee aquifer.
While tests show that water in the aquifer well on Westbrook Avenue is below the NC Department of Health and Services' GenX health goal of 140 parts per trillion, CFPUA has said "because the water was treated and stored while Chemours was still discharging GenX into the Cape Fear River, CFPUA has decided it is in the best interest of our customers to withdraw that water from the aquifer."
A temporary pipeline is in place to carry water to the nearest wastewater force main. Two monitoring wells have also been constructed.
Catlin said he had crews out Wednesday morning collecting samples from wells. He said that 2,500 gallons have to be pumped from each well before a sample could be collected.
Crews will begin draining areas of the aquifer with higher GenX levels than the levels in the water currently in the distribution system.
Copyright 2017 WECT. All rights reserved.