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Posted on: October 10, 2018

CFPUA Approves Two Contracts to Begin PFAS Treatment Implementation Strategy

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CFPUA Approves Two Contracts to Begin PFAS Treatment Implementation Strategy for the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant

Today, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Board approved two contracts. The first is a $1,300,860 contract with Calgon Carbon to replace existing filter media at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. The board also approved a $2,759,000 contract with Black & Veatch for the design of GAC treatment at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. The agreements represent both an interim and long-term solution to reducing per- and polyfluorinated (PFAS) compounds found in the Cape Fear River.

It is unclear what impact the compounds have on public health. Still, public health experts agree that reducing exposure to these compounds is beneficial. So, in the interest of public health, the board voted on October 10, 2018, to approve both:

  • An interim solution to adjust the existing filtration process to reduce PFAS levels until the upgrade is complete. This interim solution takes filters out of service during the media replacement process and is not practical in the future as water demands increase. This interim solution can be in place as early as this winter.
  • A long-term solution for PFAS reduction begins with a post-filter GAC treatment design for the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. The approved contract includes the design and permitting, which are expected to be completed by July 2019.

CFPUA will hold four public meetings to discuss these next steps. The public is encouraged to attend any of the public meetings and to learn more about CFPUA's plan, ask questions, and share comments. The dates, times, and locations will be announced later this week.

Upgrades to an advanced treatment facility like the Sweeney Plant are costly. The project is expected to cost $46 million. CFPUA maintains that our customers should not have to pay the costs of the GAC upgrade. To such end, the board also approved a resolution to allow CFPUA to submit a grant application to North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ). CFPUA will request state grant assistance for construction of the new GAC facility at Sweeney. We will seek a grant for the full cost of design and construction.

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