Is North Carolina Tap Water Safe To Drink?

Is North Carolina Tap Water Safe To Drink?

Water is one of the most important resources on Earth. It is essential for all life forms, and humans depend on it for drinking, cooking, and sanitation. However, the quality of water in many parts of the world is declining due to pollution, contamination, and other factors. In North Carolina, one of the major concerns is the presence of PFAS chemicals in drinking water.

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of man-made chemicals that have been used in a variety of industrial and consumer products since the 1940s. They are commonly found in non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, firefighting foam, and other products. PFAS are often called "forever chemicals" because they do not break down in the human body or the environment.

In recent years, there has been growing concern about the health effects of PFAS exposure. Studies have linked PFAS to a variety of health problems, including developmental delays in children, some cancers, and other health effects. PFAS have been found in drinking water across the United States, including in North Carolina.

PFAS contamination has been found in drinking water across the United States, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. The study estimates that at least 45% of the country's drinking water has toxic PFAS chemicals.

PFAS pollution is a long-standing issue in North Carolina, especially along the Cape Fear River, where the Chemours plant in Fayetteville had polluted the river with PFAS chemicals for years. As a result, some communities along the Cape Fear have had to install better water filters, and some homes have had to switch to bottled water.

USGS scientists tested water collected directly from people's kitchen sinks nationwide, providing the most comprehensive study on PFAS in tap water from private wells and public supplies to date. The study found that PFAS concentrations were similar between general supplies and private wells and that at least one type of PFAS could be present in nearly 50% of the tap water in the U.S.

Researchers found PFAS in four North Carolina test sites, including private wells and public water supplies. Positive tests for PFAS chemicals were often found in urban areas and near plants that could potentially be sources of PFAS.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency proposes a new drinking water limit of 4 parts per trillion for PFOA and PFOS, the two most common PFAS compounds. A separate study by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality found widespread PFAS contamination in drinking water across the state, with PFAS levels above the proposed EPA limit in 35 of the 50 communities tested.

Drinking Water In North Carolina

A recent study conducted by WRAL News shows that most North Carolinians' drinking water contains "forever chemicals". because of their long-lasting effects on the environment and the human body.

While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed limits on six types of PFAS, utilities still need to have current regulations in place.

WRAL News tested municipal drinking water from homes across North Carolina using an at-home test kit from Cyclopure. The test kit can detect up to 55 forever chemicals, and the results are validated up to one part per trillion (ppt), equivalent to a grain of sand in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Here's where the highest levels were found:

City Total PFAS (ppt)
Fayetteville 47.4
Burlington 45.2
Durham 8.6
Raleigh 7.1
Cary 5.6

Fayetteville and Burlington had the highest PFAS levels, with total PFAS levels of 47.4 and 45.2 ppt, respectively. Meanwhile, Durham, Raleigh, and Cary had lower PFAS levels, with total PFAS levels of 8.6 ppt, 7.1 ppt, and 5.6 ppt, respectively.

The Fayetteville water sample showed high levels of PFAS, with Cumberland County's municipal water supply having levels four times higher than Chemours' bottled water for private well owners with a total PFAS of 10 ppt or above. PWC declined interviews but plans to install granular activated carbon systems at its two treatment facilities, costing around $92 million.

Burlington's water sample showed high levels of PFOS and PFOA, types of forever chemicals phased out of production due to their health hazards. Durham's PFAS levels were lower than ten ppt, but levels of PFOS were 3.9, while Raleigh's levels were under EPA's proposed limits. Cary had the weakest levels overall.

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The study's results have alarmed many residents, including Susan and Rusty Holt, who have lived in their Burlington home for 35 years. They were concerned about PFAS exposure and wanted to get their water tested. Durham resident Kent Weigle believes that regulatory agencies should have more power to protect drinking water.

While Raleigh Water's Ed Buchan says that the utility uses powdered activated carbon (PAC) in treatment systems to remove some of the PFAS, upgrades to meet the regulatory standards set for PFAS will cost between $150 to $170 million and will be paid for by ratepayers.

Source: spectrumlocalnews

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Is Charlotte Tap Water Safe To Drink?

Yes, Charlotte tap water is generally safe to drink. City reports show zero water quality violations in 2023 and adherence to federal and state standards. They test for over 170,000 contaminants annually.

Tap Water In Greensboro North Carolina?

Similar to Charlotte, Greensboro tap water also meets federal and state safety standards. You can find the latest Consumer Confidence Report for details on specific contaminants and testing results.

Is Asheville Nc Tap Water Safe To Drink?

Asheville tap water is considered safe by the EPA and meets all federal drinking water standards. However, some reports indicate slightly higher levels of certain contaminants compared to national averages. You can access the city's Water Quality Report webpage for more information.
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