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Pender County Utilities Continues to Take Proactive Approach to Ensure Safe Drinking Water Amid New EPA Regulations

Pender County, NC—Monday night, Pender County Utilities (PCU) reported to the Pender County Board of County Commissioners and residents about its proactive measures regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) newly issued national regulatory limits for drinking water. These groundbreaking regulations are poised to significantly reduce PFAS exposure for millions nationwide, preventing countless serious illnesses.

The EPA’s ruling mandates enforceable Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for various PFAS compounds, including PFOA, PFOS, and GenX Chemicals. The Pender County Surface Water Treatment Plant is outfitted with state-of-the-art Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) vessels, ensuring the removal of organics and PFAS contaminants from raw water sourced from the Lower Cape Fear River. These GAC vessels have been operational since 2012, demonstrating PCU’s longstanding commitment to water quality.

Recent testing by Enthalpy Analytical, a trusted third-party laboratory, confirms PCU’s commitment to delivering safe, clean water to our community. Results show significant reductions in PFAS levels after treatment, well below the EPA’s mandated thresholds:

PFOA: Before Treatment: 4.47 ppt; After Treatment: 1.95 ppt (MCL: 4 ppt)

PFOS: Before Treatment: 8.09 ppt; After Treatment: 2.10 ppt (MCL: 4 ppt)

GenX: Before Treatment: 2.97 ppt; After Treatment: 2.13 ppt (MCL: 10 ppt)

PCU remains dedicated to advancing water treatment technologies. In anticipation of future regulatory standards, we are proud to announce plans for a new membrane filtration plant expected to be operational by 2028. This facility will ensure continued compliance with evolving federal and state regulations.

Furthermore, PCU is thrilled to announce that it received a $400,000 grant from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Division of Water Infrastructure to explore innovative strategies for combating “forever chemicals.” This funding underscores our commitment to staying at the forefront of water treatment innovation and safeguarding public health.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of ensuring safe and clean drinking water for our community,” stated Anthony Colon, Executive Director of Pender County Utilities. “PCU remains steadfast in our commitment to investing in advanced treatment methods and staying ahead of regulatory requirements. With the support of our dedicated team and valued partners, we will continue to lead the way in providing high-quality water services to the residents of Pender County.”

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