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Greensboro Continues to Move Forward with Plans to Remove PFOS and PFOA

Post Date:03/04/2019 1:07 PM

In light of the recent announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate the contaminants PFOS and PFOA, City officials say Greensboro is well positioned to ensure these contaminants to do not pose a health risk to its customers. Proactive measures the City has taken since 2015 include:

  • Completed a watershed investigation to determine the source of the contaminants
  • Actively involved stakeholders to minimize the uncontrolled release of contaminants to the environment
  • Used an operational protocol to respond to elevated levels of these contaminants in untreated water
  • Developed a predicative computer model to map the transport of these contaminants in the watershed
  • Purchased, installed, and are using a  temporary Powered Activated Carbon (PAC) feed system
  • Executed a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to install permanent treatment measures at Mitchell  Water Treatment Plant

The CIP included the purchase of Seminole Drive Apartments. The property is required for construction of a Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) treatment system at the Mitchell Water Treatment Plant. GAC is a proven treatment technology for the removal of PFOS and PFOA, that also reduces the potential for the formation of disinfection byproducts. Added to the plan are enhancements to sedimentation basins and improving the system that handles solids removed from treated water.

The total cost for the measures included in the CIP is estimated to be $31 million dollars. Engineering design is expected to begin in July. The design phase is anticipated to last about a year. The permitting and construction phase is estimated to take 18-24 months, with the goal of having the system improvements completed by 2022. In the interim, the Water Resources Department will continue to use the temporary PAC feed system to ensure contaminants are kept below the EPA health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion.

“This long-term investment will ensure the highest quality drinking water for Greensboro customers and demonstrates the City’s commitment to meet and exceed state and federal regulations,” said Assistant Director of Water Resources Mike Borchers.

Water Resources Department staff continue to monitor for PFOS and PFOA on a weekly basis. The level of these contaminants has not exceeded the health advisory level since August 2018. Customers can view the weekly sampling results and future updates on this Web page. Questions? Call Mike Borchers at 336-373-2494.

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