Press Releases from Pittsboro Town Manager Chris Kennedy
Update: City of Greensboro 1,4
Dioxane Discharge, Potentially Impacting Pittsboro’s Drinking Water System
On July 1, 2021, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) informed Town of Pittsboro officials that the City of Greensboro reported an excessive discharge of 1,4 dioxane into
South Buffalo Creek in the effluent from the T.Z. Osborne Wastewater Treatment Plant that may impact downstream water intakes within the next few days. Preliminary results of the grab sample show levels from 543 ug/L (micrograms per liter) to 687 ug/L in the T.Z. Osborne Wastewater
Treatment Plant effluent, placing Greensboro in violation of the Special Order by Consent (SOC) between the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission and the City of Greensboro, established earlier this year, which set a daily maximum of 45 ug/L.
Since the Town of Pittsboro’s previous press release issued on Friday, July 2, 2021 notifying our customers of this potential contamination, Pittsboro staff has worked diligently to learn the latest and operate the water system in the safest and most mitigating manner it can understanding the concerns of 1,4 Dioxane. Initially, raw water draws were ceased to allow the “slug” of contaminants to pass our raw water intake on the Haw River. Since, the Town has reinstated the raw water draws, but only enough to meet minimal water demand. We are confident that the water is safe for consumption and use in both residential and commercial applications, but we urge precaution until test samples are returned. We continue to discuss the latest with Greensboro, NCDEQ and our downstream neighbors.
The only sample results we have obtained since the weekend are samples taken in Fayetteville, NC through July 5, 2021 that had 1,4 Dioxane levels less than 2 ug/L, functionally non-detect. Until our samples are returned, it is yet to be determined if this sample taken in Fayetteville indicates quick passage or a pre-Greensboro contamination sample.
The Town is hopeful that results from our samples taken over the weekend will be returned tomorrow.
As soon as the results become available, I will reissue a press release with the latest information and recommendations. We thank our customers for their patience and we share in your frustration over the initial cause of this concern and the inability to obtain sample results in a prompt manner. We strive to be open and candid with our information so that each of our customers can act accordingly.
Town of Pittsboro Town Manager
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Update 7/12, Press Releases from Pittsboro Town Manager Chris Kennedy
The Town of Pittsboro is now in receipt of the results from the raw water and finished water samples taken by Town staff from July 1, 2021 through July 7, 2021 as well as the sampling conducted by the City of Greensboro, please see the chart below. For reference purposes, the EPA’s Drinking Water Health Advisory Level of 35 ug/L based on a 1 in 10,000 cancer risk for lifetime exposure.
Greensboro Plant Data Date Lab 1 Lab 2 1,4 Dioxane Average
TZO Effluent Composite July 1 & 2, 2021 410 ug/l 247 ug/l 329 ug/l
TZO Effluent Composite July 2 & 3, 2021 199 ug/l 108 ug/l 154 ug/l
TZO Effluent Composite July 3 & 4, 2021 10.4 ug/l 58.6 ug/l 34.5 ug/l
TZO Effluent Composite July 4 & 5, 2021 40.5 ug/l 26.7 ug/l 33.6 ug/l
TZO Effluent Composite July 5 & 6, 2021 24.2 ug/l 15.6 ug/l 19.9 ug/l
TZO Effluent Composite July 6 & 7, 2021 10.2 ug/l not split —
TZO Influent Composite July 6 & 7, 2021 18.0 ug/l not split —
North Buffalo Influent July 6 & 7, 2021 < 1.00 ug/l not split —
TZO Effluent Grab July 7, 2021 11.5 ug/l 8.1 ug/l 9.8 ug/l
Trunkline/Industry Monitoring Date 1,4 Dioxane Result
Lake Herman @ Reedy Fork July 6 & 7, 2021 < 1.00 ug/l
Summit Ave near Bryan Park Rd July 7, 2021 < 1.00 ug/l
Reedy Fork Line @ TZO July 6 & 7, 2021 114 ug/l
Shamrock Pipe 01 Composite July 6 & 7, 2021 98.8 ug/l
Shamrock Flume Grab July 7, 2021 466 ug/l
Pittsboro Sample Location Date 1,4 Dioxane Result
Raw Composite July 1, 2021 < 1.00 ug/l
Raw Bottle A Composite July 2, 2021 < 1.00 ug/l
Raw Bottle B Composite July 2, 2021 76.5 ug/l
Finish – Chatham Forest Grab July 2, 2021 < 1.00 ug/l
Finish – Horton Tank Grab July 2, 2021 1.06 ug/l
Finish – 1.0M Tank Grab July 2, 2021 1.23 ug/l
Raw Composite July 3, 2021 2.46 ug/l
Raw Composite July 4, 2021 38.2 ug/l
Raw Composite July 5, 2021 43.7 ug/l
Finish – Horton – MGT Grab July 6, 2021 1.28 ug/l
Finish – Horton – MGT Grab July 6, 2021 4.80 ug/l
Finish – Chatham Forest Grab July 6, 2021 5.56 ug/l
Raw Grab July 6, 2021 93.6 ug/l
Finish Grab July 6, 2021 57.6 ug/l
Raw Grab July 7, 2021 26.5 ug/l
Finish – Chatham Forest Grab July 7, 2021 66.8 ug/l
Finish – 1.0M Tank Grab July 7, 2021 21.7 ug/l
Finish – Horton Tank Grab July 7, 2021 1.71 ug/l
Town staff believes that these numbers indicate a delayed or secondary influx of 1,4 dioxane reaching the Pittsboro raw water intake with what appears to be an additional slug of contamination coming from Greensboro on or immediately before July 6, 2021, when the grab sample included a level of 93.6 ug/L in our raw water and elevated levels in our finished water. Town staff reacted promptly by flushing water out of the Chatham Forest Tank as soon as the results came available. We have since refilled the tanks with what we expect to be less contaminated finished water given the raw water contamination diminishment from July 6 (93.6 ug/L) to July 7 (26.5 ug/L). From a strategic perspective, the Town is continually turning over the stored water in our water tanks more frequently than usual to continually refresh the water with improved and better quality finished water so that 1,4 dioxane contaminated water exits our public supply as quickly as possible. The Town has sampled the tanks post flushing, and we expect sampling results of the new tank water and other samples taken through July 9, 2021 to be available tomorrow. Water samples are being continually processed and Town staff will continue to sample until we see levels in a non-detect state for an extended period.
While the numbers are above non-detect based on the latest sample results, we are encouraged by the drop from July 6 to July 7 in our raw water sample and the trends shown in Greensboro’s water grab shown above with continued trending towards a non-detection level. With the rainfall from Tropical Storm Elsa, combined with time and natural flows, the Town anticipates much improved sampling results this week. With our flushing and water turnover tactics, combined with the rainfall dilution and time since contamination, the Town remains confident that our water is safe for consumption and use in both residential and commercial applications.
For further information about 1,4 dioxane, the federal EPA has a number of helpful resources to advise our customers. Please see link below and the document attached hereto.
We, again, thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we work with the City of Greensboro and NCDEQ on remediating this 1,4 dioxane contamination to Pittsboro’s drinking water.
Town of Pittsboro Town Manager