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Wilmington, North Carolina Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water in Wilmington, North Carolina

Where does Wilmington's water come from?  CFPUA’s Water Treatment Division processes and distributes an average of 16 million gallons of drinking water to homes and businesses throughout New Hanover County. There are 3 basic parts to the water supply system: source, treatment and distribution. Our two main sources of water are the Cape Fear River and underground aquifers (Castle Hayne & PeeDee).   Is Wilmington's water safe to drink?

Source: City of  Wilmington, NC

Contaminants Found in Wilmington's Water Supply

(Detected above health guidelines)

 

Bromate

Bromate is a carcinogenic disinfection byproduct formed when source waters containing bromide are treated with ozonation or sodium hypochlorite. Studies of laboratory animals show that bromate damages DNA and causes cancer in multiple organs. Click here to read more about disinfection byproducts. 

Bromodichloromethane

Bromodichloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Bromodichloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Chloroform

Chloroform, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Chloroform and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Chromium (Hexavalent)

Chromium (hexavalent) is a carcinogen that commonly contaminates American drinking water. Chromium (hexavalent) in drinking water may be due to industrial pollution or natural occurrences in mineral deposits and groundwater.

Dibromochloromethane

Dibromochloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water.

Dichloroacetic acid

Dichloroacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Perfluorinated Chemicals

Perfluorinated chemicals are a group of synthetic compounds used in hundreds of products from nonstick pans to stain-repellent clothing, wire coatings and firefighting foam.

Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Trihalomethanes are cancer-causing contaminants that form during water treatment with chlorine and other disinfectants. The total trihalomethanes group includes four chemicals: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane and bromoform.

Trichloroacetic Acid

Trichloroacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. 

Fluoride

Fluoride occurs naturally in surface and groundwater and is also added to drinking water by many water systems. The fluoride that is added to water is not the naturally occurring kind, the main chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water are known as “silicofluorides” (i.e., hydrofluorosilicic acid and sodium fluorosilicate). Silicofluorides are not pharmaceutical-grade fluoride products; they are unprocessed industrial by-products of the phosphate fertilizer industry (Gross!). Since these silicofluorides undergo no purification procedures, they can contain elevated levels of arsenic — moreso than any other water treatment chemical. In addition, recent research suggests that the addition of silicofluorides to water is a risk factor for elevated lead exposure, particularly among residents who live in homes with old pipes.

Potential Health Effects of Consuming These Contaminants

 

Health risks of Bromate in excess of the health guidelines 

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.1 ppb for bromate was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Health risks of Bromodichloromethane in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.4 ppb for bromodichloromethane was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of Chloroform in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 1 ppb for chloroform was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of Dibromochloromethane in excess of health guideline 

Cancer & Pregnancy: Dibromochloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Dibromochloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy


Health risks of Chromium (Hexavalent) in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.02 ppb for chromium (hexavalent) was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Health risks of Dichloroacetic acid in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.7 ppb for dichloroacetic acid was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of Perfluorinated Chemicals in excess of health guideline

Endocrine Disruption | Cancer:  These chemicals have been linked to endocrine disruption, accelerated puberty, liver and immune system damage, thyroid changes, and cancer risk. Sometimes referred to as PFC, PFOA, PFOS, or PFCs.

Health risks of Trihalomethanes in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.8 ppb for trihalomethanes was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a draft public health goal, the level of drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Health risks of Trichloroacetic acid in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.5 ppb for trichloroacetic acid was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Contaminant Levels in Wilmington, NC Compared to Other Regions

 

Bromate

 - Health Guideline: 0.1 ppb

 - Wilmington, NC: 0.425 ppb

 - National: 0.834 ppb

 - State: 1.03 ppb

Bromodichloromethane

- Health Guideline: 0.06 ppb

 - State: 5.83 ppb

 - Wilmington, NC: 13.4 ppb

 - National: 4.38 ppb

Chloroform

 - Health Guideline: 1.0 ppb

 - State: 18.3 ppb

 - National: 11.4 ppb

 - Wilmington, NC: 22.7 ppb

Chromium (hexavalent)

 - Health Guideline: 0.02 ppb

 - Wilmington, NC: 0.0618 ppb

 - State: 0.0757 ppb

 - National: 0.782 ppb

Dibromochloromethane 

  - Legal Limit: 4 ppb

 - State: 3.26 ppb

 - National: 0.440 ppb 

 - Wilmington, NC: 9.43 ppb

Dichloroacetic acid

 - Health Guideline: 0.7 ppb

 - State: 8.05 ppb

 - National: 6.00 ppb

 - Wilmington, NC: 11.3 ppb

Perfluorinated Chemicals (Status): 

No national drinking water standard exists. This utility detected Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHPA). Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a member of a group of perfluorinated chemicals used in many consumer products. PFOS and other perfluorinated chemicals can cause serious health effects, including cancer, endocrine disruption, accelerated puberty, liver and immune system damage, and thyroid changes. These chemicals are persistent in the environment and they accumulate in people.

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

 - Health Guideline: 0.8 ppb

 - State: 28.4 ppb

 - National: 23.4 ppb

 - Wilmington, NC: 47.7 ppb

Trichloroacetic acid

 - Health Guideline: 0.5 ppb

 - State: 7.03 ppb

 - National: 4.93 ppb

 - Wilmington, NC: 8.24 ppb

Fluoride

 - Legal Limit: 4 ppb

 - State: 0.305 ppb

 - National: 0.440 ppb 

 - Wilmington, NC: 0.330 ppb

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April Jones

A Colorado based hiker, blogger, and water quality expert...

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