Even though the latest GenX test results show levels below the state's health goal of 140 parts per trillion, just one part is too much for one Wilmington man.
A CFPUA update on Monday stated that GenX measured at 42 parts per trillion in a Jan. 22 test of finished, or treated, water.
Jimmy Kadnar wants to disconnect from CFPUA's water source altogether.
Kadnar, 49, is a retired New York City firefighter who responded to the Sept. 11 attacks.
Spending months at Ground Zero is taking its toll.
"I have over a dozen growths in my lungs," Kadnar said. "Growths have been removed out of my throat, multiple sinus surgeries, disorders in my blood, breathing problems, a long list."
His health is his main priority, which is why GenX still found in his drinking water is a concern.
"I was wanting to protect my family when I first found out about GenX so I was able to go out and drill a well," Kadnar said. "I followed all the guidelines by the county Board of Health."
CFPUA's Environmental Management Director Beth Eckhert sent Kadnar a letter once CFPUA got wind of Kadnar's new $6,000 well.
The letter stated: "Please be advised that while irrigation from a private well is permissible, discontinuation of domestic water service is not allowed for any residential structure or unit unless the structure is deemed uninhabitable."
"It has been reiterated more than once to me that I am not allowed or none of us are allowed to disconnect from their water source," Kadnar said.
So he took out a loan and hired an environmental lawyer out of Raleigh to try to fight CFPUA.
"Why is it that we the people have to be dictated to by our local government to drink their chemically tainted water when common sense will tell you let the people hook up to groundwater?" Kadnar said.
The well Kadnar has goes 195 feet down into an underground aquifer with the hopes to obtain pure, clean drinking water.
Kadnar paid for a test by an Environmental Protection Agency approved lab in Wisconsin of his well and tap water. He said his well water was free of toxins, but his tap water still showed GenX.
"I actually got a call from a technician out there after they had taken my samples and they wanted to know what this water was and if we were consuming it," Kadnar said.
We reached out to the CFPUA to ask why a resident like Kadnar cannot disconnect or use a well for their water.
"Public water systems provide both fire protection and water for drinking," CFPUA spokesperson Peg Hall Williams said. "Communities invest in shared public services to ensure people living in the area receive treated water and access to waste water services. These are public health and environmental issues."
Williams added: "Our ordinance does’t allow customers who are already connected to the system to disconnect. There are many sanitary and safety benefits that urban services, such as potable water, provide to people in densely populated areas. Levels of GenX consistently remain below the NCDHHS health goal of 140 parts per trillion. CFPUA continues to meet all established drinking water standards. For these reasons, there is no reason for customers to disconnect from the public water supply."
For now, Kadnar says he will keep fighting but is not using his well for irrigation or drinking water per the advice of his attorney. He received a letter from CFPUA executive Jim Fletchner in October stating his request to disconnect was denied per CFPUA's ordinance.
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