NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County is filtering out per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFAS) at its landfill, according to sampling results from the NC Department of Environmental Quality.
In February, the county volunteered a landfill to be the first to participate in DEQ’s landfill leachate sampling protocol. Landfill leachate is formed when rainwater percolates through waste, and it has been identified as a potential source of PFAS since industrial waste, sewage and other PFAS-containing consumer products can be found at landfills.
NHC installed a reverse osmosis system was installed more than two years ago, and DEQ's results show no detectable levels of PFAS in the treated leachate.
“These results are important for our community, to know that New Hanover County is taking a proactive approach through data-driven science to treat leachate at our landfill,” County Manager Chris Coudriet said in a news release. “We proactively volunteered for this study after we learned more about landfill leachate as a possible source of PFAS in water bodies. With the Board of Commissioners leadership, the landfill has been, and will continue to be, actively and innovatively making environmental stewardship a priority.”
DEQ took samples from various points at the landfill, including raw leachate, treated water through the RO system, groundwater wells on site, and surface water from the northeast Cape Fear River upstream from the landfill. All samples were analyzed for 33 PFAS and a summary, including a full data report, can be viewed here.