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Posted on: October 8, 2019

Steps to reduce iron in CFPUA’s Richardson water system showing significant success

Running faucet

Iron levels in drinking water treated at Richardson Water Treatment Plant are subsiding as lower demands have allowed CFPUA to rely more on deeper source wells and optimize plant operations.

Some CFPUA customers in Northern New Hanover County served by Richardson had recently reported aesthetic issues 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 remained safe. 

Over the last few days, CFPUA has been able to begin stop using wells that were somewhat shallower and with potentially more iron content. Those wells were brought online to meet very high demands driven by abnormally hot, dry weather this summer and early fall. 

CFPUA crews also will be flushing portions of the Richardson water distribution system over the next several days.

Test results of treated water at Richardson indicated iron concentrations had dropped from 0.8 milligrams per liter (mg/L) on September 30 to 0.2 mg/L on October 6. The state of North Carolina has set a health-protective level for the most-susceptible individuals of 2.5 mg/L for iron in drinking water. 

CFPUA already planned to replace filter membranes at the Richardson Plant next year. The timing of that replacement was based on historical water flows. CFPUA is taking steps to accelerate the membrane replacement, which now could occur next spring.

The Richardson plant serves one of three systems providing drinking water to CFPUA customers. Click here to determine the source of your water.

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