Update: CFPUA has rescinded its “do not drink” order and all remaining boil advisories.
NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Thousands of residents living in New Hanover County just north of Wilmington may be at risk of fluoride poisoning and are being told not to drink or cook with tap water by the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.
According to robocalls made to residents in the northern part of the county, water from the CFPUA’s Richardson Nano Groundwater Treatment Plant has tested positive for excessive levels of fluoride, making it dangerous to drink or cook with.
According to the CDC, boiling water does not remove fluoride from water — although some home filter systems may do so.
The CFPUA also sent an email telling residents, in all capitalized letters, “DO NOT DRINK YOUR WATER,” and adding,”Failure to follow this advisory could result in illness.” No timeframe was given for the warning.
Nothern New Hanover County is served by both groundwater and water from the Cape Fear River. CFPUA provided a map (below) of service areas, which is also available here. Blue sections represent water sourced from the Cape Fear River; teal sections in the north and south are groundwater-sourced. The Richardson plant serves the northern area, which is affected.
CFPUA did not immediately respond to questions about how the fluoride levels got so high, or how long the warning was expected to last.