Brunswick County alerts residents, water customers to spill of unknown substance from Chemours’ Fayetteville industrial site

Brunswick County returns water treatment plant operations back to normal 

9/25/19 4:00 PM update
Brunswick County has returned to normal operations at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant, restoring the water intake from the raw water line into the plant.

Brunswick County Public Utilities and its partners at the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) conducted tests this morning and afternoon to determine the impact on water quality due to the contaminant that spilled into the Cape Fear River Tuesday afternoon from the Fayetteville Works industrial site from Kuraray Americas, which shares the site with Chemours.

Kuraray Americas reported that less than 30 gallons of 3GO plasticizer was discharged into the river. This substance is not a PFAS compound. This type and amount of the substance does not represent a threat to the water system.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) informed Brunswick County about the spill Tuesday evening. The department is currently investigating the spill at the Fayetteville Works facility.

According to a DEQ media release, the spill was reported after DEQ staff discovered a sheen at Outfall 002 Tuesday, while conducting bi-weekly sampling. Chemours partially shut down the sluice gate to Outfall 002 to slow the flow and deployed absorbent booms. Kuraray shut down operations Tuesday night to stop discharges while the source is being investigated.

Outfall 002 contains the discharge from the onsite wastewater treatment plant shared by the Kuraray, Chemours and Dupont facilities. Chemours is the permit holder. Under the Consent Order established by DEQ, Chemours is not permitted to discharge any process water into the Cape Fear River.

At this time, customers can use water without the need for conservation. The Brunswick County Fire Marshal will also lift the burn ban.

Brunswick County originally suspended its intake of water through the raw water line entering the Northwest Water Treatment Plant to isolate and protect its water supply and prevent the previously unknown substance’s plume from reaching the plant.

Brunswick County Public Utilities will continue to monitor the river and make any water treatment adjustments necessary to ensure the water supply remains safe for its customers.

The County will post any updates concerning this situation to its website at https://brunswickcountync.gov/fayetteville-industrial-site-spill-sept-24


Brunswick County alerts residents, water customers to spill of unknown substance from Chemours’ Fayetteville industrial site

9/25/19 9:00 AM update
BOLIVIA, N.C. – Tuesday evening, Brunswick County received notification from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality about a spill of an unknown substance into the Cape Fear River from the Chemours Fayetteville Works industrial site. The spill was reported to take place the afternoon of Tuesday, Sept. 24. Initial reports suggest that the quantity of the spill is limited, and containment measures have been put in place at the site.

Based on river flow patterns and hydraulic modeling, it is estimated that any presence of the substance could arrive in the Brunswick County area as early as Wednesday morning.

Brunswick County has suspended its intake of water through the raw water line entering the Northwest Water Treatment Plant to isolate and protect our water supply and prevent the substance’s plume from reaching the plant.

Storage tanks levels are maximized for this purpose and will complement other isolation, treatment and containment measures.

At this time, the water supply is protected and there are no planned water bottle distributions.

The County is requesting all customers (including wholesale systems) to conserve water to better sustain and maximize the use of treated stored water. This includes no irrigation or nonessential water use until further notice.

In cooperation with Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, additional water quality sampling of the source water at the raw water intake will be performed.

In the event that this sampling indicates the presence of elevated levels of organic compounds, then additional action will be taken to mitigate the likelihood of contaminants from entering the Brunswick County Water System.

Brunswick County Public Utilities continues to monitor the situation and is working closely with the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and other regional partners.

County water customers are not expected to lose water service or pressure, but they are encouraged to check the Brunswick County website, social media and news sources for further information as it becomes available.

There is no need to use an alternate source of water at this time; should this become necessary, Brunswick County will notify all its residential, commercial and industrial water customers using the Brunswick County website, social media and standard news sources.

Brunswick County is also opening an information hotline Wednesday, Sept. 25 to answer questions and provide residents information:  910.253.2655

In conference calls Tuesday and Wednesday, the Fayetteville Works Plant Manager told CFPUA staff that the substances came from Kuraray Americas, an industrial tenant at the site.  Although the identities of the substances were still being determined, he was confident they contained no PFAS. He also said that containment steps had been taken and that the spill had ceased and was no longer entering the Cape Fear River.

Because there is limited information about the substance at this time the County is notifying residents and customers as a precaution.

The County will post any updates concerning this situation to its website at https://brunswickcountync.gov/fayetteville-industrial-site-spill-sept-24