Posted on: June 10, 2017

Update on CFPUA Water Quality and Emerging Compounds

Update on CFPUA Water Quality and Emerging Compounds



CONTACT: Lindsey Hallock



As part of the local community, CFPUA takes its responsibility of providing clean and reliable drinking water very seriously. Our dedicated staff has been awarded the area-wide optimization award by the State of North Carolina for going beyond the minimum requirements for the last eight years, and CFPUA staff performs hundreds of tests every day at various locations from the source to the tap to ensure state and federal drinking water standards are being met.

In addition to these efforts, staff routinely participates in gathering data on unregulated compounds identified by EPA as potential contaminants of concern. This EPA process is conducted every five years, and the results provide the basis for future regulatory actions to protect public health.

Although EPA has the above-mentioned process, it does not identify all potential compounds that may be a concern to public water supplies.  For this reason CFPUA actively works with trade associations such as the Urban Water Consortium, the American Water Works Association, and the Water Research Foundation to keep abreast of the latest advances and developments in water quality and water treatment.

In addition to participating in national and state-wide studies, CFPUA understands the value of studies performed right here in the Cape Fear River Watershed such as the one conducted by Dr. Knappe and his team. Studies such as this help detect emerging compounds that directly impact the Cape Fear region and our water sources.  

Research, whether local or national, is often the first step in identifying potential emerging contaminants that may require further study and regulation. Through our partnership with Dr. Knappe and N.C. State University researchers, the compound GenX has been identified in very small concentrations (parts per trillion) in our water source. As a result of our combined efforts, the State of North Carolina and EPA have been made aware of its presence and the health concerns shared by residents of our community and the greater Cape Fear region.

CFPUA expects the findings of this study will accelerate necessary actions by the EPA to evaluate and establish enforceable standards for the discharge of GenX. The establishment of appropriate standards is the next step in ensuring the protection of the Cape Fear River, the source of drinking water for much of the region.

“Cape Fear Public Utility Authority will continue to advocate for its customers” said Jim Flechtner, Executive Director of CFPUA. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and EPA to resolve this matter in the best interests of our community.”

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Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) was formed by the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County to combine their water and wastewater operations. It began operations on July 1, 2008. Today, the Authority serves more than 67,000 water customer accounts and more than 65,000 wastewater customer accounts. It oversees more than 1,000 miles of water distribution mains and nearly 1,000 miles of wastewater mains. For more information, visit

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