News Center

NewsFlash

Posted on: October 2, 2019

Iron causing discolored water for some CFPUA customers but not a public health concern

Running faucet

Some CFPUA customers in Northern New Hanover County served by the Richardson Water Treatment Plant recently have been reporting aesthetic issues with their water. This is caused by iron that occurs naturally in the source groundwater. While it does impart a color, the iron does not represent a public health issue and the water remains safe. 

For example, the State of North Carolina has set a health-protective level for the most susceptible individuals of 2.5 milligrams per liter (mg/L) for iron in drinking water. The average level of iron in water from the taps of CFPUA customers who have reported cloudy water in the Richardson system is 1.45 mg/L.

Continued hot, dry weather has driven record demand for water from CFPUA customers. To meet this demand, CFPUA has taken a number of steps, including bringing wells online that are somewhat shallower and with potentially more iron content.

CFPUA already planned to replace filter membranes at the Richardson Plant next year. The timing of that replacement was based on historical water flows. Very high demands throughout the summer put unexpected, additional demands on the filter membranes, so CFPUA is taking steps to accelerate the replacement, which now could occur next spring.

In the interim, crews will conduct additional system flushing in affected areas. Furthermore, the issue should begin to subside as temperatures cool and water demand eases, allowing operational changes at Richardson to cease drawing water from the shallower wells.

This temporary issue only affects customers in the Richardson water system. Enter your service address to search this interactive map and determine the source of your water.

Customers with concerns about their water should contact CFPUA customer service at 910-332-6550.