'It's sad. We should be working together': Brunswick Co. water utilities on different pages

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Brunswick County water utilities are not on the same page when it comes to water quality in the county.

H2GO released water testing results Wednesday. Those results showed high levels of 1,4-dioxane, a chemical classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as "likely to be carcinogenic to humans."

H2GO purchases its water from Brunswick County Public Utilities to distribute to parts of the county. However, Brunswick County Public Utilities had no idea of these findings.

In an email Wednesday, Brunswick County representative Amanda Hutcheson wrote:

"H2GO has released information, on social media as well as to the media, regarding a water test conducted by the utility.

According to H2GO Executive Director Bob Walker, the two utilities do not share any water testing results.

"They don't share their results with us and we don't share ours with them, which is sad. We should be working together," Walker said.

Walker said H2GO did not share results directly with Brunswick County officials before releasing them to the public in the name of transparency to their customers.

"We just felt like it was important to get out to our customers to let them know as soon as possible," he said.

In their written statement, Brunswick County representatives claimed the levels of 1,4-dioxane found in the water supply were an "isolated result."

"Certainly, we take the results of all tests seriously and will work rapidly with our partners at the State to determine appropriate action.  One isolated result, with very little context provided, warrants further investigation before arriving at any conclusions."

However, Walker said he checked the results with both the Fayetteville Public Works Commission and Dr. Detlef Knappe, who both do weekly testing for 1,4-dioxane.

"I did check with Fayetteville Public Works. They have been tracking 1,4-dioxane consistently throughout the year and I wanted to make sure our result wasn't an outlier," Walker said. "And I did talk to Dr. Knappe (Tuesday). He said it was consistent with what Fayetteville Public Works has been finding in their water samples."

Brunswick County did not address 1,4-dioxane in the water at all in its statement.

WECT reached out to representatives directly for an interview on this matter and has not heard back.

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