Emerging Contaminants

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. 

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.

CFPUA Special Compound Testing


The State of North Carolina requires public utilities such as CFPUA to run a wide array of tests on drinking water to ensure its quality for human consumption. However, in order to stay ahead of trends and to monitor the performance of our treatment technology, CFPUA conducts additional, voluntary tests on a wide array of contaminants known as “Special” tests. These tests help us monitor for compounds that may be regulated in the future, and help us to understand when future investment in more advanced treatment technology may be necessary.

Below is a list of compounds that CFPUA has tested the drinking water system for in the past. Some of these tests are conducted regularly, and some are conducted only in particular cases. To find the laboratory reports for the results of these tests, click on the name of the compound you are interested in. The link will take you to an archives page where you can search for results by year.