As technology continues to evolve and improve, laboratories are able to identify and detect new compounds that were previously unknown. When found in the drinking water supply, these new chemicals are known as “emerging contaminants”. Emerging contaminants create a challenge for drinking water providers because they are unregulated and very little is known about their potential risks to human health and the environment.
EMERGING CONTAMINANTS TIMELINE
THIS TIMELINE PROVIDES AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ISSUE OF EMERGING CONTAMINANTS IN THE CAPE FEAR REGION. AS OUR WORK PROGRESSES IN ADDRESSING THIS CHALLENGE, WE WILL CONTINUE TO ADD NEW INFORMATION.
Emerging Contaminants Testing
PER- & POLY- FLUOROALKYL SUBSTANCES (PFAS)
June 19, 2018 TESTING RESULTS from PILOT STUDY AT SWEENEY WATER TREATMENT PLANT
mINIMUM reportING lIMIT
|Nafion Byproduct 1*||N/A||5.0|
|Nafion Byproduct 2*||N/A||5.0|
*There are no testing standards for these compounds therefore the concentrations must be estimated.
a per-fluorinated compound, which acts as a chemical replacement for another compound, C8, used in the manufacturing of Teflon and other items.
The DHHS health goal for GenX is 140 parts per trillion. Recent testing shows that levels of GenX in finished water samples in the lower Cape Fear region are below the health goal and trending down.
GenX Results at Sweeney Water Treatment Plant
The graph below displays all of the GenX sampling results for the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant that range from June 26, 2017 to June 11, 2018.
PFOS & PFOA
PFOA and PFOS are made up of “chains” of eight carbon atoms that are attached to fluorine and other atoms.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they are human-made compounds that do not occur naturally in the environment. PFOS and PFOA are fully fluorinated, organic compounds. They are the two PFASs that have been produced in the largest amounts within the United States. PFOS and PFOA are part of a subset of PFASs known as perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs).
EPA has established the drinking water health advisory level at 70 parts per trillion for the combined total of PFOA and PFOS.
1, 4 - Dioxane
is used as a purifying agent in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and is a byproduct in the manufacture of polyethylene terephthalate
1, 4-Dioxane is also a solvent used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications, such as in the manufacture of other chemicals, as a processing aid, a laboratory chemical, and in adhesives and sealants.