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CFPUA FAQs About GenX 



Who is responsible for establishing drinking water standards?


The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) charges the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate contaminants. That guidance is then passed to state-level agencies (e.g., N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)), which regulate drinking water providers such as CFPUA.

How does EPA decide which contaminants to regulate?

The SDWA includes a process that EPA must follow to identify and list unregulated contaminants. This process may lead to a change in national drinking water standards. EPA periodically publishes this list of contaminants called the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL), and decides whether to regulate at least five or more contaminants on the list.

EPA also uses the CCL to prioritize research and data collection efforts to help the agency determine whether it should regulate a specific contaminant. When EPA regulates a contaminant, public water systems follow that guidance and comply.

Is EPA looking for other unregulated contaminants in the river?

The 1996 SDWA amendments require that once every five years EPA issue a new list of no more than 30 unregulated contaminants to be monitored by public water systems. CFPUA participates in these studies and provides sampling data to EPA. EPA information states that the mere presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate the water poses a health risk.

There are many chemicals, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, hormones and other compounds in water sources. For this reason, it is not uncommon for contaminants such as GenX to be detected in the river. Ultimately, EPA decides which should be monitored and which should be regulated.

Who regulates drinking water providers in North Carolina?

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Public Water Supply Section regulates public water systems within the state and implements mandates of the SDWA.

Who conducted the study that found these contaminants in the Cape Fear River?

Researchers from EPA, N.C. State University and UNC Charlotte collaborated on the study. CFPUA’s involvement was generally limited to providing samples from the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant.

When was this study complete and who saw it?

The study was complete in November 2016. EPA participated in the study and presumably was aware of the findings. On November 23, 2016, the report was sent to multiple people at DEQ, and representatives from UNCW, Cape Fear River Watch, NOAA, NC Coastal Federation, U.S. Geological Survey, UNC, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fayetteville Public Works, and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. CFPUA works with many of these organizations, none of whom were immediately alarmed by the findings of the study. Moving forward, CFPUA hopes to work in closer collaboration with these partners on a more regular basis to enhance our collective understanding of unregulated compounds, so that we can best provide accurate and timely information to the public. 

What did CFPUA do next?

Since the report does not state there is an immediate health concern, EPA commissioned the study and DEQ also had the report, CFPUA staff continued discussion with the researcher to understand whether there are techniques to treat for the compound. They also continued discussion with DEQ to determine whether the compound should be regulated.

The experts at EPA and DEQ make determinations as to risks associated with compounds, and then regulate public water systems accordingly.

To help understand the findings, CFPUA invited Dr. Knappe, the N.C. State researcher who led the study, to meet with staff on April 19, 2017. He discussed his methodologies, and the collaboration with peers and EPA. He also outlined that he would like to further investigate GenX and look for potential treatment technologies. DEQ attended this meeting.

On June 7, 2016, CFPUA sent a letter to DEQ that outlines the study and requests assistance in evaluating implications for the area’s source water. On June 9, DEQ responded that EPA is the sole agency responsible for establishing drinking water standards nationwide, and that EPA has extensive resources necessary to determine the nature, extent and potential impacts of chemicals such as GenX. They also stated DEQ is awaiting guidance from EPA that will provide them with the information needed to begin developing regulatory limits for GenX.

Why didn’t CFPUA notify the public sooner of GenX?

When staff first became aware of the results, no information indicated there was an immediate health concern. The study concludes the detection of the contaminant and its persistence suggest the need for broader discharge control and contaminant monitoring. CFPUA invited Dr. Knappe to review his findings and help them understand next steps from a water treatment perspective. At that time in April, staff didn’t know much about GenX as an unregulated contaminant. 

The proper people to evaluate and act on potential health effects had the same information as CFPUA. The agencies charged with establishing drinking water standards (EPA), permitting discharges to the river (DEQ) and regulating CFPUA (DEQ) were aware of the same results. With many contaminants in source waters, EPA decides which are a risk and should be regulated. EPA and DEQ have scientists and toxicologists who make these decisions and then regulate public water systems, and we rely on them for guidance.

CFPUA is not qualified to independently assess health risks or determine which contaminants may be a concern. As a public water system, CFPUA’s focus is on operating its plants and systems in accordance with EPA and DEQ regulations and does not have epidemiologists or toxicologists on staff. Since there was no indication of an associated health concern, and EPA and DEQ were involved, its mere presence was not unexpected from a public water provider perspective. 

No Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) or similar guidance has been provided by EPA or DEQ. Drinking water standards include an array of substances that have MCLs we must meet in our finished water. We have a great track record of meeting or exceeding these MCLs. Neither EPA nor DEQ has provided CFPUA definitive guidance regarding GenX. 

Why did CFPUA participate in the study?

CFPUA is proud to participate in studies that advance the water industry. Associated findings will help EPA and DEQ regulate contaminants and ensure source waters are protected.

View PDF here

CFPUA Chairman’s Afternoon Update: June 27, 2017



Mike Brown, CFPUA Board chairman, will provide two daily updates—one morning and one afternoon—with information on activity surrounding GenX. Updates will be provided each weekday. Below please find Chairman Mike Brown’s afternoon update on CFPUA participation in the public forum, water sampling/testing and CFPUA’s next steps. 

1. CFPUA Executive Director Jim Flechtner and CFPUA Board Chair Mike Brown will participate as panelists in tomorrow night’s public forum hosted by the Star-News, WWAY and WHQR. 

  • WWAY will stream the meeting on its website. WHQR will broadcast the forum live on WHQR News 91.3 FM.

  • Click here for more information on the event. 

2. CFPUA’s lab took its first water samples at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant on Monday afternoon. Those samples are being sent to Eurofins today, where they are developing a method to test them for GenX.

3. CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold. We are committed to transparency, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you through the duration of this process. 


CFPUA Chairman’s Morning Update: June 27, 2017


Mike Brown, CFPUA Board chairman, will provide two daily updates—one morning and one afternoon—with information on activity surrounding GenX. Updates will be provided each weekday. Below please find Chairman Mike Brown’s morning update regarding action steps following the CFPUA Board internal review, an important letter to DEQ, and the CFPUA’s next steps. 


1. The CFPUA Board of Directors held a special meeting yesterday to discuss action items for CFPUA process enhancements following CFPUA’s involvement in the NCSU study. 
A full list of these recommendations can be found here in yesterday’s afternoon update.  

CFPUA began to implement the recommendations this morning. The following two enhancements are already underway: 

  • CFPUA staff worked with IT to develop a page on the CFPUA web site titled “The    Quality of Your Drinking Water.” This webpage will include the following:
    • A link to any detects of an unregulated contaminant, regardless of whether it is included on the EPA’s UCMR (Unregulated Contaminate Monitoring Rule) list.  Advertise new data so customers are aware.
    • A link to a rolling 12-month list of water quality test results for compliance.
    • Information about disinfection byproducts, UCMR, source water, FAQs, treatment processes, etc.
    • Links to EPA, CDC and other sources of health information.
  • Executive Director Jim Flechtner is beginning to gather a group of health officials and water quality experts that will meet quarterly to review water testing results. 

A copy of the CFPUA process review, the presentation from Thursday’s Board meeting, and a full timeline of actions taken by CFPUA are available here. The Board continues its commitment to transparency through this process. 

2. CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold. We are committed to transparency, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you through the duration of this process

CFPUA Chairman's Afternoon Update: June 26, 2017


Mike Brown, CFPUA Board chairman, will provide two daily updates—one morning and one afternoon—with information on activity surrounding GenX. Updates will be provided each weekday. Below please find Chairman Mike Brown’s afternoon update regarding action steps following the CFPUA Board internal review, an important letter to DEQ, and the CFPUA’s next steps. 

1. The CFPUA Board of Directors held a special meeting today to discuss action items for CFPUA process enhancements following CFPUA’s involvement in the NCSU study. These recommendations are a follow up to the review discussed at last Thursday’s Board meeting. 

Following are CFPUA staff recommendations for immediate process enhancements to ensure customers can easily reach information about the water supply, and to ensure water quality information is properly managed:

  • Establish a page on the CFPUA web site titled “Drinking Water Quality.”
  • Create a link to any detects of an unregulated contaminant, regardless of whether it is included on the EPA’s UCMR (Unregulated Contaminate Monitoring Rule) list.  
  • Advertise new data so customers are aware.
  • Create a link to a rolling 12-month list of water quality test results for compliance.
  • Include information about disinfection byproducts, UCMR, source water, FAQs, treatment processes, etc.
  • Include links to EPA, CDC and other sources of health information.
  • Report UCMR data at a Board meeting, not just through the annual CFPUA Water Quality Report.
  • Issue a press release when new UCMR or other unregulated contaminant test results are available.
  • Secure Board approval for water study partnerships. After they are complete, bring study results to the next meeting for Board review.
  • Quickly escalate test data that appears unusual or concerning.
  • Conduct quarterly or special reviews with the New Hanover County Health Department   
Department to discuss water quality trends and engage with NCDEQ and EPA who play a vital regulatory roll in making sure contaminates don’t enter the Cape Fear River in the first place.

The Board also discussed the following objectives for process enhancement, for which the Board will create policies and protocols: 

  • Create a communications protocol for dealing with unregulated contaminants.
  • Create a mechanism for working with EPA and DEQ to ensure CFPUA is up to date on known information. 
  • When participating in studies or when made aware of unregulated substances in the Cape Fear River, create a classification system to classify risk level.
  • Develop a clear protocol for escalating issues with EPA, DEQ, and public health officials. This might include a quarterly call to conference on different emerging contaminants with all regulatory stakeholders included. 
  • Set a clear process for escalating any matters of public interest within the organization, to the Board, and to the public.
  • Develop processes that allow CFPUA and the Board to urgently pursue appropriate avenues to reach resolutions to any issue that may arise—from customer service issues to water quality issues—in a timely manner.  
A copy of the review, the presentation from Thursday’s meeting and a full timeline of actions taken by CFPUA are available here. The Board continues its commitment to transparency through this process. 

2. On Friday, CFPUA environmental counsel sent a letter to DEQ Secretary Michael Regan highlighting two documents of concern discovered during a review of documents from a public records request. These documents raise questions regarding the accuracy of data used in the issuance of Chemours’ permit. CFPUA has asked DEQ for clarification on this matter. The letter to Sec. Regan asked for further clarification and explanation on these two documents. A copy of the letter is available here

3. CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold. We are committed to transparency, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you through the duration of this process. 

CFPUA Chairman’s Morning Update: June 26, 2017



Mike Brown, CFPUA Board chairman, will provide two daily updates—one morning and one afternoon—with information on activity surrounding GenX. Updates will be provided each weekday. Below please find Chairman Mike Brown’s morning update regarding water testing, the CFPUA Board internal review, and the CFPUA’s next steps. 


1. The CFPUA Board of Directors will hold a special meeting today, June 26th at 11:00 a.m. to discuss action items for CFPUA process enhancements. These recommendations are a follow up to the review discussed at last Thursday’s Board meeting. A copy of the review, the presentation from Thursday’s meeting, and a full timeline of actions taken by CFPUA are available here. The Board continues its commitment to transparency through this process. 

2. CFPUA worked with DEQ to pull samples from the Sweeney Water Plant last week, but CFPUA has also started working with Eurofins, a sampling laboratory, to conduct additional sampling for GenX. Water samples will be pulled today directly from the Cape Fear River as well as treated water from the Sweeney Plant.  

3. On Friday, CFPUA environmental counsel sent a letter to DEQ Secretary Michael Regan highlighting two documents of concern discovered during a review of documents from a public records request. The letter to Sec. Regan asked for further clarification and explanation on these two documents. A copy of the letter is available here

4. CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold. We are committed to transparency, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you through the duration of this process. 


CFPUA Chairman Mike Brown's Afternoon Update: June 23, 2017



Mike Brown, CFPUA Board chairman, will provide two daily updates—one morning and one afternoon—with information on activity surrounding GenX. Updates will be provided each weekday. Below please find Chairman Mike Brown’s afternoon update regarding water testing, the CFPUA Board internal review, and the CFPUA’s next steps. 


1. CFPUA environmental counsel sent a letter to DEQ Secretary Michael Regan highlighting two documents of concern discovered during a review of documents from a public records request. The letter to Sec. Regan asked for further clarification and explanation on these two documents. A copy of the letter is available here

2. Black & Veatch has started their work to evaluate treatment options for removing perfluorinated compounds (PFCs).  Part of their work includes pilot testing of various filter media types to evaluate the effectiveness of PFC removal, which will include installing test apparatus at the plant to simulate full scale filter performance.

3. The CFPUA Board of Directors will hold a special meeting on Monday, June 26th at 11:00 a.m. to discuss action items for CFPUA process enhancements. These recommendations are a follow up to the review discussed at Thursday’s Board meeting. A copy of the review, the presentation from Thursday’s meeting, and a full timeline of actions taken by CFPUA are available here. The Board continues its commitment to transparency through this process. 

CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold. We are committed to transparency, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you through the duration of this process.

CFPUA Chairman's Morning Update: June 23, 2017



Mike Brown, CFPUA Board chairman, will provide two daily updates—one morning and one afternoon—with information on activity surrounding GenX. Updates will be provided each weekday. Below please find Chairman Mike Brown’s morning update regarding water testing, the CFPUA Board internal review, and the CFPUA’s next steps. 

  1. In addition to current DEQ sampling and testing, CFPUA will begin conducting its own water sampling and testing, beginning early next week to provide CFPUA with ongoing information about raw water quality. Testing will occur three times per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) until levels of GenX decline significantly. At that point, CFPUA will test once per week to ensure levels continue to taper off.
  2. CFPUA is reaching out to DEQ today to ask for assistance in modeling the river in order to estimate how long it might take for GenX to clear the Cape Fear River.
  3. During a Special Meeting of the CFPUA Board yesterday, Robin Smith, an environmental attorney and former assistant secretary for the environment for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (now NCDEQ), and Jennifer Adams, a chemical engineer and CFPUA Board co-chair, presented the results of their internal review. The scope of the review included an assessment of CFPUA’s involvement in the NCSU study, CFPUA staff communication about the study, and an evaluation of the appropriateness of CFPUA’s response. A full copy of the report, timeline and presentation of the report are posted below.
  4. CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold. We are committed to transparency, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you through the duration of this process.

CFPUA Chairman's Afternoon Update: June 22, 2017



Mike Brown, CFPUA Board chairman, will provide two daily updates—one morning and one afternoon—with information on activity surrounding GenX. Updates will be provided each weekday. Below please find Chairman Mike Brown’s afternoon update regarding the CFPUA Board internal review, and the CFPUA’s next steps. 

During a Special Meeting today, the CFPUA Board received an update on the internal review conducted by Robin Smith, an environmental attorney and former assistant secretary for the environment for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (now NCDEQ), and Jennifer Adams, a chemical engineer and CFPUA Board co-chair.

The scope of the review included an assessment of CFPUA’s involvement in the NCSU study, CFPUA staff communication about the study, and an evaluation of the appropriateness of CFPUA’s response. Reviewers sifted through reams of reports, emails and data, and also conducted interviews.

As context for the actions taken by staff, reviewers defined the responsibilities of regulatory authorities that are tasked with establishing standards for drinking water and further defined the permitting process.

The EPA, the agency tasked with establishing drinking water standards, began studying effects of perfluorinated chemicals like PFOA and PFOS more than fifteen years ago. These chemicals posed a health risk, and they were phased out. However, companies started using replacement compounds for these chemicals over the last five to 10 years.

While the EPA has adopted water standards for nearly 90 contaminants, standards do not exist for many compounds used in manufacturing or produced as a by-product of industrial activities. PFAS, like GenX, are not on the EPA’s list of priority toxic pollutants.In the absence of an existing EPA limit, the state permit writer can set a limit based upon professional judgement.

Water treatment standards are regulated and set by DEQ and EPA, with CFPUA’s core responsibility to ensure those standards are met. Our water meets or exceeds these standards. EPA and DEQ regulate water quality impacts on the river including standards and wastewater discharge limit. EPA and DEQ regulate drinking water systems, research health risks, and develop drinking water rules.

Water systems, like CFPUA, operate under those drinking water rules by regularly monitoring the water, treating the water, and issuing public notices when water doesn’t comply with EPA standards. Given this context, the role of CFPUA is to implement the standards set by the regulatory authorities.

While it is not the role of CFPUA to set forth water quality standards, CFPUA often participates in studies to gain additional understanding of the water CFPUA provides to customers. When CFPUA was approached to be part of a study pertaining to water at the Sweeney Plant, staff was more than willing to take part.

The goal of the NCSU study was to begin to fill the knowledge gap about the occurrence of fluorinated alternatives and their behavior during water treatment. The study was conducted and published, with a period of due diligence to follow to better understand the findings. A full timeline is available on our website.

Throughout this process, CFPUA staff communicated with regulatory authorities and others about the findings, all with the goal of better understanding the results of the study. At the conclusion of the review, reviewers determined that:

“Given all of the available information, it is our opinion that CFPUA staff acted in an appropriate, professional, timely, and scientific manner. Data was gathered, studied, and reviewed at appropriate levels. Based upon information and facts available to CFPUA at the time, staff moved the issue appropriately through the CFPUA chain of command.”

Though the conclusion of the reviewers was that there was no inappropriate action taken by CFPUA staff, we know there is still room for improvement to release non-routine findings to the public. We are committed to taking action to improve the process for dealing with these unregulated chemicals, and will be meeting in the coming days to discuss next steps and action plans.

A full copy of the report, timeline and presentation of the report are posted below. 

CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold. We are committed to transparency, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you through the duration of this process.

CFPUA Independent Review Presentation



Wilmington, NC June 22, 2017


CFPUA Chairman's Morning Update: June 22, 2017



Mike Brown, CFPUA Board chairman, will provide two daily updates—one morning and one afternoon—with information on activity surrounding GenX. Updates will be provided each weekday. Below please find Chairman Mike Brown’s morning update regarding the CFPUA Board internal review, DEQ water sampling, and the CFPUA’s next steps. 

    During a Special Meeting today (details below), the CFPUA Board will receive an update on the internal review currently being conducted by Robin Smith, an environmental attorney and former assistant secretary for the environment for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (now NCDEQ), and Jennifer Adams, a chemical engineer and CFPUA Board co-chair.

The review included an analysis of CFPUA’s involvement in and communication about the North Carolina State University’s study.

Board members will also discuss any updates that may be available related to GenX water issues, as well as the recently passed budget.

Special Meeting of the CFPUA Board
Thursday, June 22
1:00 PM
235 Government Center Drive
Second Floor Conference Room

* The CFPUA Board will hold a Special Meeting on Monday (6/26), instead of Friday (6/23) due to Board availability, to discuss next steps and action items related to the review. 

2. DEQ will begin collecting water samples at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant today (6/22).

3. In a story posted yesterday, Robert Bowcock, founder of Integrated Resource Management, discussed a filter treatment option for CFPUA water. CFPUA is working to determine the best treatment options with an engineering firm. If Mr. Bowcock does come to the area, we look forward to working with him.

4. CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold. We are committed to transparency, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you through the duration of this process.


CFPUA Creates Tool for Customers to Find Their Home's Water Source


Wilmington, NC June 22, 2017
Below is a link to an on-line tool created by Cape Fear Public Utility Authority. To find your address, simply enter it into the search box in the upper-left corner and the results will appear momentarily. 

If the address is shown in green, the home is serviced by the Michael Richardson Nanofiltration Plant, which takes water from various groundwater sources. If the address is shown in blue, the home is serviced by the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant, which takes water from the Cape Fear River. If the home is shown in beige, the address is not in CFPUA’s service area and we recommend contacting the number listed on your water bill to find out the source of your water. 

Home Water Source Finder Tool


CFPUA Chairman's Afternoon Update: June 21, 2017

Mike Brown, CFPUA Board chairman, will provide two daily updates—one morning and one afternoon—with information on activity surrounding GenX. Updates will be provided each weekday. Below please find Chairman Mike Brown’s afternoon update regarding Chemours’ NPDES Permit, DEQ water sampling, and the CFPUA’s next steps.

  1. We appreciate Chemours’ voluntary action to eliminate discharge of GenX into the Cape Fear River. As regulatory bodies work toward a long-term solution, environmental counsel to CFPUA, Brooks Pierce,submitted a formal letter to DEQ today (see below), requesting the agency enforce the North Carolina Drinking Water Act (15A NCAC 18C .1209), and prohibit the discharge of any and all GenX Pollutants into the Cape Fear River. This rule prohibits the discharge of industrial byproducts into any public water supply stream classified as WS-IV, including the Cape Fear River.

The letter includes an additional request to DEQ, that in issuing the Permit, the agency take into consideration the broader prohibition against discharge of industrial waste or byproducts into public water supply streams in accordance with the North Carolina Drinking Water Act.

  1. DEQ will begin collecting water samples at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant tomorrow (6/22).
  1. During a Special Meeting tomorrow (details below), the CFPUA Board will receive an update on the internal review currently being conducted by Robin Smith, an environmental attorney and former assistant secretary for the environment for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (now NCDEQ), and Jennifer Adams, a chemical engineer and CFPUA Board co-chair.

The review included an analysis of CFPUA’s involvement in and communication about the North Carolina State University’s study.

Board members will also discuss any updates that may be available related to GenX water issues, as well as the recently passed budget.

Special Meeting of the CFPUA Board
Thursday, June 22
1:00 PM
235 Government Center Drive
Second Floor Conference Room

* The CFPUA Board will hold a Special Meeting on Monday (6/26), instead of Friday (6/23) due to Board availability, to discuss next steps and action items related to the review.

CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold. We are committed to transparency, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you through the duration of this process.


CFPUA Requests DEQ to Prohibit Discharge of GenX in Chemours' NPDES Permit


By email to:
michael.regan@nedenr.gov
By FedEx to:
Secretary Michael S. Regan
Department of Environmental Quality
217 West Jones Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603

Re:  GenX in the Cape Fear River
Addendum to First Set of Requests for DEQ Action

Dear Secretary Regan:

We are environmental counsel for the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority ("CFPUA"). This letter is an addendum to our first set of requests on behalf of CFPUA for DEQ monitoring, permitting, and regulatory actions, sent on June 19, 2017 and incorporated herein by reference. We request on behalf of CFPUA that DEQ include conditions in the Chemours NPDES Permit prohibiting the discharge of the GenX Pollutants into the Cape Fear River, as required by 15A NCAC 2B .0104 and 15A NCAC 18C .1209.

15A NCAC 2B .0104 establishes certain standards for assigning water supply classifications, which are designed "to maintain, protect, and enhance water quality in North Carolina," and to "protect human health," in accordance with the public policy of the State. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 143-211(b), (c); see also N.C. Gen. Stat. § 143-214.1 (requiring adoption of water classifications and standards). Among other requirements, 15A NCAC 2B .0104 incorporates certain administrative rules promulgated under the North Carolina Drinking Water Act: "Activities within water supply watersheds are also governed by the North Carolina Rules Governing Public Water Supplies, 15A NCAC 18C .1100, .1200, and .1500." 2B .0104(n).

The North Carolina Drinking Water Act rules, in turn, prohibit certain discharges to waters of the State protected as water supplies, including the Cape Fear River, which has a classification of WS-IV:

No treated or untreated domestic sewage, treated or untreated industrial waste or by products shall be stored on the watershed of or discharged into any public water supply reservoir or stream tributary to that reservoir whose waters are classified as WS I. No untreated domestic sewage or industrial waste by products shall be discharged into any public water supply reservoir or stream classified as WS II, WS

.

15A NCAC 18C .1209. This rule prohibits the discharge of industrial byproducts into any public water supply stream classified as WS-IV, including the Cape Fear River.

Chemours' NPDES Permit Renewal Application seeks authorization to discharge into the Cape Fear River, a Class C, WS-IV water in the Cape Fear River Basin. Chemours has represented to State and local officials—including to CFPUA—that the GenX Pollutants are "unregulated byproducts" not subject to the 2009 TSCA Consent Order entered between EPA and Chemours, which authorizes the manufacture of Gera. I Chemours' own statements amount to an admission that it is prohibited from discharging the GenX Pollutants into the Cape Fear River pursuant to 15A NCAC 18C . 1209.

Accordingly, we request that DEQ fulfill its nondiscretionary duties to implement and enforce 15A NCAC 18C .1209 and immediately prohibit Chemours from discharging any and all GenX Pollutants into the Cape Fear River, and also include this prohibition as a condition in Chemours' NPDES Permit. We further request that in issuing the Permit, DEQ take into consideration the broader prohibition against discharge of industrial waste or byproducts into public water supply streams in accordance with 15A NCAC 18C .1209.

On behalf of CFPUA, we look forward to working with you and your department on this important matter. Thank you for your prompt attention and consideration.


CFPUA Chairman's Morning Update: June 21, 2017

Mike Brown, CFPUA Board chairman, will provide two daily updates—one morning and one afternoon—with information on activity surrounding GenX. Updates will be provided each weekday. Below please find Chairman Mike Brown’s morning update regarding Chemours’ decision to voluntary stop discharging GenX into the Cape Fear River, and the CFPUA’s next steps. 



1. Chemours will voluntarily stop discharging the manufacturing effluent that contains GenX into the river this morning (June 21, 2017). Chemours has confirmed that they are committed to the temporary removal of GenX until a permanent solution is reached with regulatory authorities, EPA and DEQ.

 
It has been a true community-wide effort to reach this point. We know there is still a road ahead to reach a long-term solution, but we are glad to see progress made     on many fronts.  

2. In light of this news from Chemours, CFPUA is working to track the final discharge of GenX. In addition, we will be working with DEQ and an engineering firm to model the flow of the river and test that water daily to determine GenX’s longevity within the water. CFPUA will provide regular updates to the public regarding findings and testing.

3. During a Special Meeting tomorrow (details below), the CFPUA Board will receive an update on the internal review currently being conducted by Robin Smith, an environmental attorney and former assistant secretary for the environment for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (now NCDEQ), and Jennifer Adams, a chemical engineer and CFPUA Board co-chair.

         
The review included an analysis of CFPUA’s involvement in and communication about the North Carolina State University’s study.          


Board members will also discuss any updates that may be available related to GenX water issues, as well as the recently passed budget.


Special Meeting of the CFPUA Board

Thursday, June 22

1:00 PM

235 Government Center Drive

Second Floor Conference Room

*The CFPUA Board will hold a Special Meeting on Monday (6/26), instead of Friday (6/23) due to Board availability, to discuss next steps and action items related to the review.


CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold. We are committed to transparency, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you through the duration of this process.

 
CFPUA Chairman's Morning Update- June 20, 2017


Wilmington, NC--June 20, 2017: Mike Brown, CFPUA Board chairman, will provide two daily updates—one morning and one afternoon—with information on activity surrounding GenX. Updates will be provided each weekday. Below please find Chairman Mike Brown’s morning update regarding CFPUA’s involvement in water sampling, public records requests to DEQ and EPA, and request to area utilities to join CFPUA in action.

CFPUA is working with DEQ and the EPA to pull additional water samples from the Cape Fear River and several other water sources to ensure the most accurate and thorough testing possible. We have confirmation that testing began yesterday evening, and will provide updates as we have them.

Yesterday, the CFPUA Board submitted two public records requests—one to EPA and one to DEQ—asking for all records related to GenX, including the items listed below (please refer to each individual request for a full list of items requested):

Requests of DEQ:

a)      Immediately modify the Chemours permit to require daily sampling and testing of Chemours waste streams;

b)      DEQ and DHHS determine whether the concentrations of GenX are protective of human health, taking into account all relevant factors, including toxicity, persistence, and bioaccumulation; and

c)      DEQ immediately modify the permit to prevent any discharge of GenX until (a) and (b) are complete.

Requests of EPA:

d)      If Chemours has continuously captured and destroyed 99 percent of GenX from its wastewater streams;

e)      If Chemours has established the necessary processes and procedures at the Fayetteville Works to ensure that 99 percent of GenX is being and will be captured and destroyed from the wastewater streams.

Additional EPA requests:
  • Immediately review Chemours studies it has received and review sampling of which the EPA is aware to determine whether the discharges are protective of human health and to immediately modify directives regarding Chemours to prevent florochemical compound discharge into the Cape Fear River until the determination is made by EPA.
In a separate letter, also sent yesterday, CFPUA environmental counsel sent a set of requests for DEQ Secretary Michael Regan for immediate DEQ action, including:
  • An extensive sampling and analysis program to detect and determine concentrations of GenX in the Cape Fear River;
  • Stricter conditions or denial of the Chemours permit; and
  • A public health determination from DHHS regarding whether or not the Chemours discharge into the Cape Fear River poses an “adverse effect on the public health.”
CFPUA Board Chairman Mike Brown presented an update on all current CFPUA actions related to GenX to the New Hanover County Commission. Brown encouraged the commission to support the CFPUA Board resolutions passed on Friday, June 16.

CFPUA Board Chairman Mike Brown also called upon surrounding utilities to support the CFPUA Board resolutions (resolution 1, resolution 2), or pass similar resolutions, requesting immediate action from Chemours, DEQ and EPA. Recipients of the letter include Brunswick County Commission Chair Frank Williams, Wrightsville Beach Mayor Bill Blair, Pender County Commission Chair George Brown, and Lower Cape Fear Water and Sewer Authority Public Citizen Representative Norwood Blanchard.

CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold. We are committed to transparency, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you through the duration of this process.

CFPUA Board Calls Special Meeting to Discuss Independent Review, GenX Updates and FY'18 Budget



Wilmington, NC--June 20, 2017: Please take notice that the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority will hold a Special Meeting on Thursday June 22, 2017. The Board will convene at 1:00 PM and will meet in the CFPUA offices, 235 Government Center Dr, Second Floor Conference Room. 

The Purpose of the meeting is for the following:
1) Receive Independent review of GenX timeline. 
2) Receive update on GenX water issues.
3) Budget discussion

CFPUA Board Calls on Surrounding Utilities to Pass Resolutions Requesting Immediate Action from Chemours, DEQ and EPA

Mr. Frank Williams, Brunswick County Commissioner Chairman
Mr. Bill Blair, Wrightsville Beach Mayor
Mr. George Brown, Pender County Commissioner Chairman
Mr. Norwood Blanchard, Lower Cape Fear Water & Sewer Authority

Dear Sirs:

As you are probably aware, on June 16, our Board passed the attached Resolutions requesting Chemours, NCDEQ, and the EPA to take certain steps to address the GenX compound found in our source water and in some treated water.

We have requested that DEQ do the following:

(a)   Immediately modify the Chemours permit to require daily sampling and testing of Chemours waste streams,
(b)   DEQ and DHHS determine whether the concentrations of GenX are protective of human health, taking into account all relevant factors, including toxicity, persistence, and bioaccumulation, and
(c)   DEQ immediately modify the permit to prevent any discharge of GenX until (a) and (b) are complete.

We have requested that EPA determine the following:

(d)   If Chemours has continuously captured and destroyed 99 percent of GenX from its wastewater streams;
(e)   If Chemours has established the necessary processes and procedures at the Fayetteville Works to ensure that 99 percent of GenX is being and will be captured and destroyed from the wastewater streams.

We have further requested that EPA immediately review Chemours studies it has received and review sampling of which the EPA is aware to determine whether the discharges are protective of human health and to immediately modify directives regarding Chemours to prevent florochemical compound discharge into the Cape Fear River until the determination is made by EPA.

We have requested that Chemours act responsible and cease all discharges containing fluorochemical compounds until NC DHHS and EPA determine the appropriate safe levels of each compound. Finally, we have requested that these actions be taken in a timely fashion, and we authorized our independent environmental counsel to take whatever actions deemed necessary to accomplish the objectives set forth in our resolutions. I encourage you to read the resolutions in their entirety for a full understanding of the specifics which support these requests. We believe these details may be helpful to your boards and legal counsel.

I know that each of you share our Board's wishes to address the GenX issue or other compounds that may affect the quality of the water our utilities provide to our region's customers. I hope that your governing boards will join us in considering and passing similar resolutions expressing our concerns and requesting immediate action from Chemours, DEQ, and EPA.

Very truly yours,
 
Michael C. Brown, Ill
Chairman
CAPE FEAR PUBLIC UTILITY AUTHORITY

View in PDF here



CFPUA Issues Public Information Request to DEQ, EPA for GenX Information



Wilmington, NC June 19, 2017:
FOIA Request for Information Related to GenX, Post-GenX Chemicals, PFECAs, and Post-PFECA Chemicals

PUBLIC ALERT: Unconfirmed Reports of Persons Posing as CFPUA to Gain Home Entry for GenX Testing


Wilmington, NC June 16, 2017:
Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has heard unconfirmed reports that persons supposedly representing CFPUA may be going door to door and asking to enter homes.  CFPUA employees do not request entry into households to test water unless it is scheduled in advance with the customer.  Further, all CFPUA employees carry company-issued photo identification, uniforms and clearly marked company vehicles.  If you have questions about whether a person represents CFPUA, call 332-6625 during business hours to verify their status and whether CFPUA is working in your area and alert the appropriate authorities if necessary.


CFPUA Board Takes Action on GenX, Calls on Chemours to Remove Compound Entirely

WILMINGTON, NC—June 16, 2017: This morning, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) Board of Directors held a meeting to discuss next steps and take action on the presence of GenX in the Cape Fear River.

During the meeting, the Board unanimously passed two resolutions (see below): the first calling on Chemours to remove the compound entirely from the Cape Fear River, and the second allowing CFPUA to take legal action should this request not be honored.

The CFPUA believes it is notable that the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) agree that the levels of GenX in the Cape Fear River pose a low risk to human health. Their estimates are based on available published research on the levels of GenX detected in 2013-2014. GenX, however, is still an unregulated, emerging compound about little is known.

“We believe that the EPA and NCDEQ have tools in their toolbox and the authority required to compel Chemours to stop discharging into the Cape Fear River, and we are respectfully asking them to do so immediately for the litany of valid reasons listed within the resolution,” said CFPUA board chairman Mike Brown. “We also call on state and federal regulatory agencies to close any loopholes that may allow them to release the chemical into the water.” 

The Board also agreed to Brown’s request for a third-party, independent review of CFPUA’s involvement in, timeline and communication about the North Carolina State University’s study confirming the presence of GenX in the Cape Fear River.

Robin Smith, an environmental attorney and former assistant secretary for the environment for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (now NCDEQ), will lead the independent, third-party internal review, with assistance from Jennifer Adams, a chemical engineer and CFPUA Board co-chair. The review officially began at the conclusion of the meeting.

“On behalf of the CFPUA, I assure you that we as a Board are taking proactive steps to get to the bottom of this issue, and are committed to 100-percent transparency. Following a swift and thorough review, the Board will report all findings directly to the public,” said Brown.  

CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold.

###

CONTACT:
Lindsey Hallock
(910) 332-6625
Lindsey.hallock@cfpua.org


CFPUA Adopts Chemours Resolutions


Wilmington, NC June 16, 2017


CFPUA Special Board Meeting for GenX Update


Friday June 16, 9:00am - 10:30am
235 Government Center Drive
2nd Floor Conference Room
Wilmington, NC 28403

STATEMENT FROM MIKE BROWN, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, CAPE FEAR PUBLIC UTILITY AUTHORITY REGARDING GENX


Wilmington, NC June 15, 2017
“The role of the CFPUA is to provide drinking water that meets or exceeds all state and federal standards so that our drinking water is safe. As a result, we regularly participate in scientific studies of this kind. From the moment we agreed to participate in the NCSU study up until today we have not received any guidance from any regulatory body that we should test for GenX, nor have we received any guidance on effective ways to remove GenX from the water supply. That said, I stand with our colleagues at the state and local levels, and call on Chemours to stop releasing GenX into the Cape Fear River at any level.

As a member of the Wilmington community, I wholeheartedly agree that we, as the CFPUA Board, are obligated to provide transparency in all aspects of this organization, and that the Board of Directors is obligated to fulfill its duty to provide oversight and communicate openly with the public. Therefore, I am going to ask the Board to conduct a review regarding CFPUA’s involvement in and communication about the North Carolina State University’s study.

We are well aware of the public concern regarding the study and the steps CFPUA followed regarding the discovery of GenX in the Cape Fear River. I will recommend that the review will be led by Jennifer Adams, a chemical engineer and member of the Board. At the conclusion of this review, the Board of Directors will share its findings with the public.

In the interim, the following is an account of events known to me at this time. 

CFPUA staff received the initial findings from the NC State research team leading the original study on May 3, 2016. The study progressed, and a final draft was shared with CFPUA staff on September 25, 2016, shortly before the study was published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters on November 10, 2016. The study revealed traces of GenX in the Cape Fear River.

The EPA—also an active participant in the NCSU study—through their approvals, allows 1% of the manufacturing waste stream of GenX to be discharged into the river. Because of this, it was not surprising that the study confirmed traces in the water.

Upon confirmation of GenX in the Cape Fear River at the conclusion of this study, CFPUA staff implemented the same due diligence process it uses to study and review all scientific reports and emerging compounds. GenX is one of thousands of unregulated, permitted compounds, and CFPUA willingly participates in studies of these types of compounds on a regular basis.

CFPUA staff worked with the researchers to understand this unregulated, permitted compound, the results of the study, and what they might mean. Based on the information they gathered during this due diligence process, staff determined that additional research was needed to understand the real effects of GenX and potential water treatment options. Staff took their initial learnings and request for additional research to Executive Director Flechtner on March 20, 2017. Staff members continued in their due diligence process from there.

As part of this due diligence process, Dr. Knappe’s team came to present to the CFPUA water quality team meeting to present on the study on April 19, 2017, which NCDEQ representatives attended.

Following this initial due diligence phase, staff notified the full board via email on June 5, 2017, and Mr. Flechtner secured permission from the Executive Committee of the Board on June 7, 2017 to send a formal request to NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) requesting additional research and regulations for this unregulated, permitted compound. Following Executive Committee approval, Mr. Flechtner submitted the letter via email on June 7, 2017. NCDEQ had been involved in this matter beginning as early as April 19, 2017 and at no time during the discussion with NCDEQ or EPA did they indicate that this confirmed presence of GenX posed a health risk or a public advisory was necessary.

CFPUA received a response from NCDEQ on June 9 (see below). As noted in their correspondence, the NCDEQ formally requested guidance from the EPA, “the sole agency responsible for establishing drinking water standards nationwide. The federal agency has extensive resources necessary to determine the nature, extent and potential impacts of chemicals such as GenX. As such, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is awaiting guidance from the EPA that will provide [NCDEQ] with the information needed to begin developing regulatory limits for GenX.

The Board of Directors can guarantee to the public that CFPUA strictly adheres to all regulations, and can assure its drinking water meets or exceeds all federal and state regulations for safety.

The CFPUA Board of Directors has a responsibility to protect our customers to include full and complete transparency on all aspects of our organization. That’s why we are taking proactive steps to review this process. We have a lot of questions, as do our customers. We continue to seek answers, and will deliver updates as quickly as possible.

The board of directors of CFPUA understands that this is a time sensitive matter given public interest. We are committed to being complete, thorough and are committed to releasing results of the review on a timely basis. CFPUA will post updates on its website and social channels. At the conclusion of the Board of Director’s independent review of this process, the Board will update the public on its findings.”

View in PDF format


DEQ, DHHS Investigating Reports of Unregulated Chemical in Cape Fear River



Release: IMMEDIATE Contact: Jamie Kritzer; Chris Mackey Phone: 919-707-8602; 919-855-4840
June 14, 2017
RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality is leading a state investigation regarding reports of an unregulated chemical in the Cape Fear River.
DEQ staff, in consultation with state Department of Health and Human Services, are investigating the presence of a compound known as GenX. DEQ is strongly encouraging Chemours, the company that produces the chemical for industrial processes at its facility in Fayetteville, to identify any measures that can be taken to reduce or eliminate the discharges of the chemical to the river until the state completes its investigation. DEQ is also pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to provide regulatory guidance on GenX.
State environmental regulators will collect water samples from the Cape Fear River and will send those to a laboratory capable of detecting GenX in water at low concentrations. The laboratory has indicated that the materials the state is required to use for the water collection and testing should arrive next week. DEQ staff are prepared to mobilize as soon as the sampling materials arrive from the lab. After meeting with DEQ staff this week, Chemours agreed to bear all costs for the water collection and testing. The laboratory, which is in Colorado, has indicated that the first test results will likely be available four weeks from when the samples are received, but multiple rounds of testing and analysis will be necessary for a meaningful evaluation of the water quality.  
“We are seeking answers and solutions to a problem that has prompted understandable concern among citizens who live and work in Wilmington and the lower Cape Fear region,” said Michael Regan, secretary of the state Department of Environmental Quality. “We are taking a hard look at the quality of the region’s source of drinking water and all options we have to limit or eliminate how much of this chemical makes its way to the river.”
Mandy Cohen, the secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, said: “The department has a history of close collaboration with DEQ to protect the health of North Carolinians. We are working closely with DEQ to understand more about GenX and we will keep people informed as we get more information.”
Staff at DHHS also have initiated daily conference calls with local health departments in the lower Cape Fear region to share the latest information on this issue.
There are no U.S. regulatory guideline levels for GenX. However, based on available published research, the levels of GenX that were detected in the Cape Fear River in 2013-14 would have posed a minimal health risk. This is a relatively new chemical, and the health effects are not fully understood at the current time.
“A sampling event from 2014 is the most recent data that shows GenX present in the Cape Fear, which makes obtaining new data critical,” Regan said.
More recent data will be available for analysis following the water sampling expected to get underway in the coming days.
Leadership in DEQ have reached out to staff with the Environmental Protection Agency seeking information about GenX.

The EPA, which is the lead agency responsible for establishing drinking water standards, is working to establish guidance on unregulated compounds such as GenX that North Carolina and other states can use to develop potential regulations for the chemical compound.
DEQ staff are pushing Chemours officials to limit the amount of GenX making its way into the river. A Chemours official told state environmental regulators this week that the company is working to assess waste streams containing GenX and determine whether the company can reduce the amount of GenX discharged to the river under current production levels.  
DEQ and DHHS leadership plan to participate in a meeting in New Hanover County convened by local officials on Thursday to establish the next steps in addressing this issue. Representatives from Chemours are expected to attend the Thursday meeting.

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NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) response to CFPUA regarding GenX


Wilmington, June 12, 2017
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) responded to a request from CFPUA for guidance regarding GenX:


Dear Mr. Flechtner,
Thank you for your June 7 letter regarding the presence of poly-flouroalkyl substances present in the Lower Cape Fear River. We certainly understand the public concerns surrounding this issue and are working with the EPA and others to better understand the chemical compound and any potential impacts it may have... Read full letter in PDF format
NCDEQLetterToCFPUA


Update on CFPUA Water Quality and Emerging Compounds


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lindsey Hallock
910-332-6625
Lindsey.Hallock@cfpua.org
 
Wilmington, NC June 10, 2017:
As part of the local community, CFPUA takes its responsibility of providing clean and reliable drinking water very seriously. Our dedicated staff has been awarded the area-wide optimization award by the State of North Carolina for going beyond the minimum requirements for the last eight years, and CFPUA staff performs hundreds of tests every day at various locations from the source to the tap to ensure state and federal drinking water standards are being met.

In addition to these efforts, staff routinely participates in gathering data on unregulated compounds identified by EPA as potential contaminants of concern. This EPA process is conducted every five years, and the results provide the basis for future regulatory actions to protect public health.

Although EPA has the above-mentioned process, it does not identify all potential compounds that may be a concern to public water supplies.  For this reason CFPUA actively works with trade associations such as the Urban Water Consortium, the American Water Works Association, and the Water Research Foundation to keep abreast of the latest advances and developments in water quality and water treatment.

In addition to participating in national and state-wide studies, CFPUA understands the value of studies performed right here in the Cape Fear River Watershed such as the one conducted by Dr. Knappe and his team. Studies such as this help detect emerging compounds that directly impact the Cape Fear region and our water sources.  

Research, whether local or national, is often the first step in identifying potential emerging contaminants that may require further study and regulation. Through our partnership with Dr. Knappe and N.C. State University researchers, the compound GenX has been identified in very small concentrations (parts per trillion) in our water source. As a result of our combined efforts, the State of North Carolina and EPA have been made aware of its presence and the health concerns shared by residents of our community and the greater Cape Fear region.

CFPUA expects the findings of this study will accelerate necessary actions by the EPA to evaluate and establish enforceable standards for the discharge of GenX. The establishment of appropriate standards is the next step in ensuring the protection of the Cape Fear River, the source of drinking water for much of the region.
“Cape Fear Public Utility Authority will continue to advocate for its customers” said Jim Flechtner, Executive Director of CFPUA. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and EPA to resolve this matter in the best interests of our community.”

FAQ Regarding Emerging Compounds & GenX 


Wilmington, NC June 8, 2017:  

Is our drinking water safe? 
We take water quality very seriously, and with our advanced treatment processes we continue to meet all state and federal drinking water standards for safety. Since the State of North Carolina and EPA establish the drinking water standards we comply with, we will be looking to them to determine whether this currently unregulated contaminant should be regulated at the point of discharge to the Cape Fear River.

What do we know about GenX?
We know that it is unregulated and measured in the parts per trillion. At this time, data is not readily available on whether this is a compound of concern. Ultimately, EPA will determine potential impacts and safety standards.

What can be done at the treatment plant to remove GenX from the water?
GenX is an emerging contaminant, and we are unaware of technologies capable of removing this compound from the water. Thus, the more important issue is for the State of North Carolina and EPA to keep this compound from being discharged into the river.

With GenX in the Cape Fear River, what can/will CFPUA do to ensure the water is safe?
CFPUA treats its source water above and beyond current state and federal standards, and maintains a robust sampling and monitoring schedule. Additionally, we believe in the importance of participating in studies such as this one to ensure that emerging compounds are discovered and appropriately regulated to protect drinking water utilities and their customers. CFPUA believes the best next step is to determine if this compound needs to be regulated and, if so, ensure that enforcement methods keep it from entering the Cape Fear River.

Does CFPUA monitor for GenX? If not, why?
Due to GenX’s status as an emerging and unregulated contaminant, there are no EPA-certified methods to monitor and test for the substance. For more information on permitting and compliance enforcement, please contact the State of North Carolina Division of Environmental Quality—the agency responsible for monitoring and regulating dischargers on the River.
 
If CFPUA participated in the study and knew the results, why did you not release them earlier?
After becoming aware of the study’s findings, CFPUA staff initiated, and maintained, conversations with the researchers associated with the study to learn more about the compound and the available testing options. Additionally, CFPUA contacted the State of North Carolina, the agency responsible for regulating Chemours’ discharge into the Cape Fear River, to inform them of the findings.

Can customers put a filter on their tap to remove GenX?
GenX is a new, unregulated compound and we are unaware of technologies capable of removing it from the water.

CFPUA Response to Star News Article on GenX Component in Water Systems South of Fayettville



Wilmington, NC June 7, 2017:  
CFPUA is aware of the N.C. State study concerning unregulated contaminants in the Cape Fear River.  We take our responsibility to provide clean drinking water very seriously, and we reasonably expect private dischargers to behave responsibly and regulatory agencies to provide proper guidance and oversight.  Since the State of North Carolina and EPA establish the drinking water standards we follow, we will be looking to them to determine whether this currently unregulated contaminant should be regulated in our source water.  As a local water utility, we look forward to supporting the state and EPA in ensuring our customers continue to enjoy safe and reliable drinking water.  In the meantime, CFPUA continues to meet all state and federal drinking water standards for safety.

Star News on GenX in Water south of Fayettville

#     #     # 
Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) was formed by the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County to combine their water and sewer operations. It began operations on July 1, 2008.  Today, the Authority serves more than 67,000 water customer accounts and more than 65,000 wastewater customer accounts.  It oversees more than 1,000 miles of water distribution mains and nearly 1,000 miles of sewer mains. 

Mission Statement


Cape Fear Public Utility Authority strives to inform the public about utility policies and services, billing procedures, environmental compliance, conservation, vendor opportunities and more.  We are available to answer your questions at 332-6625.  

More Information:


CFPUA recently created a series of customer brochures to help inform you about: 
  • Our work to provide you with award-winning services at responsible rates
  • Ways you can save valuable time and money

Pamphlets & Brochures:


Previews of the pamphlets are being inserted into your bills year round. Below are the complete brochures, which we hope you’ll find easy to read and use.
  • CFPUA and You (PDF) - CFPUA plays an important role in our community’s overall quality of life. Here’s why…
  • Don’t Let This Happen to You! (PDF) - Property easements are often misunderstood by customers across the nation, leading to costly mistakes. Here’s how to avoid them.
  • Investing in Your Future (PDF) - How CFPUA is tackling your aging infrastructure for current and future generations.
  • Understanding Your Bill (PDF) - Your CFPUA bill contains a variety of valuable information. This guide walks you through everything it has to offer. Note: Brochure originally written in 2013. Cost to consume CFPUA water now 0.4 cents a gallon.
  • Waste Not, Pay Not! (PDF) - Handy tips on how to check for leaks that waste your money and our water.
  • Learn from Your Lawn (PDF) - Highlights how your turf can tell you when, and how much, to water.