Update on 1,4-Dioxane in Haw River

And in Pittsboro’s drinking water

The Haw River Assembly continues to be concerned about the presence of 1,4-Dioxane in Pittsboro’s drinking water, which it takes from the Haw River.  1,4-Dioxane is an industrial solvent that has been entering the Haw River via upriver municipal wastewater treatment plants for many years. Monitoring by scientists has shown it to be in high levels in the Haw River. Traditional treatment methods for drinking water do not remove this contaminant.  There has recently been some progress in the reduction of the contamination in the river, and in a decision by the Town of  Pittsboro to upgrade its treatment methods.

14-dioxane-monitoring

(Dr. Knappe and students taking samples of Haw River water from Bynum Bridge)

Dr. Detlef Knappe of NC State University presented his latest research  on this industrial solvent, to Pittsboro’s Board of Commissioners on Mon. Nov. 28. Latest data shows that the level in  PIttsboro’s drinking water, (which uses the Haw River as its source) is  now at lower levels, though still too high according to new EPA guidance.  It appears  that the spotlight on this issue has resulted in lower amounts being flushed by industries into upriver wastewater treatment systems. More needs to be done to stop this pollution at the source, but in the meantime Pittsboro has decided to safeguard its drinking water by adding activated carbon to the treatment methods, which will better protect public health. Read more on this issue in “Tainted Waters“,  in NC Health News

Factsheet about 1,4-Dioxane online.at the EPA website.

 

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