WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The most recent test results of raw water drawn from the Cape Fear River show increased levels of the contaminant 1,4-dioxane, according to the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.
Results released this week show 1,4-dioxane of 1.8 parts per billion (ppb) in raw water on Feb. 13 and 0.54 ppb in the finished water treated at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant on Feb. 14.
“A number of investments made at Sweeney Water Treatment Plant, which treats water drawn from the Cape Fear River, make CFPUA one of the few water utilities in North Carolina equipped to significantly reduce 1,4-dioxane in water,” a CFPUA news release states. “Those technologies, ozone and granular activated carbon filters operated in biological mode, typically result in removal rates of 67 percent or better.”
CFPUA officials have in discussions with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality about the recent 1,4-dioxane spike “and will continue to monitor concentrations.”
The compound is an industrial solvent found in paint strippers, varnishes, soaps, make-up and antifreeze. It has caused liver and kidney damage to laboratory rats chronically exposed to 1,4-dioxane in their drinking water.
While no federal contaminant level has been set for 1,4-dioxane, an EPA risk assessment indicated “that a concentration of 0.35 parts per billion in drinking water consumed over a lifetime would be expected to cause no more than one additional case of cancer in 1 million people.”