Friday, April 12, 2024

Excess iron leading to water discoloration for some CFPUA customers, no health concern

CFPUA says the levels of iron are not a cause for concern labeling it an 'aesthetic' issue.

Water customers are reporting cloudy water due to what CFPUA is calling excess iron in the water (Port City Daily/Mark Darrough)
Water customers are reporting cloudy water due to what CFPUA is calling excess iron in the water. (Port City Daily/Mark Darrough)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Customers in northern New Hanover County have reported what the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) is referring to as ‘aesthetic issues’ with their water due to excess iron in the water.

“Some CFPUA customers in Northern New Hanover County served by the Richardson Water Treatment Plant recently have been reporting aesthetic issues with their water. This is caused by iron that occurs naturally in the source groundwater. While it does impart a color, the iron does not represent a public health issue and the water remains safe,” according to a press release from CFPUA.

The state sets a standard of no more than 2.5 milligrams per liter for iron in drinking water; the amount found in CFPUA water is about 1.45 mg/L. Customers from the Richardson plant are noticing more cloudy water than what they are normally used to.

“Continued hot, dry weather has driven record demand for water from CFPUA customers. To meet this demand, CFPUA has taken a number of steps, including bringing wells online that are somewhat shallower and with potentially more iron content,” according to the press release.

On a long-term level, CFPUA will replace filters at the treatment plant earlier than planned.

“CFPUA already planned to replace filter membranes at the Richardson Plant next year. The timing of that replacement was based on historical water flows. Very high demands throughout the summer put unexpected, additional demands on the filter membranes, so CFPUA is taking steps to accelerate the replacement, which now could occur next spring,” according to the release.

For the time being though, crews will be flushing the water systems in affected areas.

“Furthermore, the issue should begin to subside as temperatures cool and water demand eases, allowing operational changes at Richardson to cease drawing water from the shallower wells. This temporary issue only affects customers in the Richardson water system. Enter your service address to search this interactive map and determine the source of your water.”

Customers with concerns about their water should contact CFPUA customer service at 910-332-6550.

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