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CFPUA reports elevated chemical level in drinking water

March 14, 2019 / Star-News

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) reported Thursday elevated levels of an industrial chemical have been found in raw water taken from the Cape Fear River, as well as in finished drinking water in recent months. A Feb. 14 test found 1,4-dioxane at 1.8 parts per billion (ppb) in raw water and 0.54 ppb in finished drinking water taken from the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. The industrial solvent is defined as an emerging contaminant. Recent CFPUA results have topped the 0.35 ppb level at which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said the chemical would likely cause cancer in one out of every million people over a lifetime of exposure. The EPA has classified 1,4-dioxane as likely to be carcinogenic to humans, but has not set a federal maximum contaminant level (MCL) for the chemical.