In late August, CFPUA installed a pilot test at our Sweeney Water Treatment Plant to investigate the potential to remove unregulated compounds from the drinking water.
The plant, which takes water solely from the Cape Fear river, is our largest water treatment facility and has the capacity to treat up to 35 million gallons of water per day. The plant employs a wide array of state-of-the-art treatment technology, including the use of ozone and UV for disinfection. As innovative as the plant is, however, it is currently unable to treat for GenX and other perfluorinated compounds. Due to concerns over these compounds, the Authority is considering the feasibility and effectiveness of additional treatment processes at the Plant.
Recognizing that the design and construction of treatment enhancements would take several years to complete, the CFPUA Board began discussing options at its annual Board Retreat on Tuesday, October 31.
As can be seen in the agenda for the meeting, the Board reviewed a preliminary schedule for the design and construction of additional facilities at Sweeney. They were also presented with the estimated costs of such changes, and their corresponding impact on rates, should funding not arrive from another source.
CFPUA staff recommended including treatment enhancements in the Authority’s Capital Improvement Plant for fiscal years 2019 through 2028, and the Board supported that assessment. Our ongoing efforts with UNCW to determine whether other compounds are in the river will help us understand whether improvements to the plant will be needed. The updated CIP will be presented to the Board in January 2018.
CFPUA has received new results for October 18-23 from our on-going GenX testing at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. Levels of GenX continue to remain below the DHHS health goal of 140 ppt.