As reported previously, CFPUA will begin draining nearly 50 million gallons of water from the Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) well in early September.
In the past, water from Sweeney Water Treatment Plant was injected into the upper Peedee aquifer. It is withdrawn later to help address periods of peak demand. Tests show, however, that the water at the ASR well contains levels of GenX above the average levels we are currently supplying to our customers. As a result, CFPUA has decided to remove the water from the aquifer and discharge it to the wastewater system.
The first step of the process was to design temporary piping that would connect the well to the collection system and ultimately the Northside Wastewater Treatment Plant, and to obtain a permit to discharge from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). CFPUA received the permit in mid-August, and construction of the temporary line has been completed (see picture above).
The next step will be to construct new wells in the area that will help staff monitor and sample the water leaving the aquifer. Once these monitoring wells have been installed, CFPUA will begin pumping the water at a flow of 500 gallons per minute.
Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has signed a contract with the University of North Carolina Wilmington to begin identifying the other per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances in the Cape Fear River, and to test the efficiency of the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant in removing them from the water.
The project is expected to last 12 months, and all subsequent findings will be made available to the general public and agencies such as NCDEQ, NCDHHS and USEPA.