Pittsboro hit with another dose of 1,4-dioxane from Greensboro, Shamrock Environmental


Pittsboro’s drinking water received another 1,4-dioxane hit last week, which the city attributes to an “additional contamination mouth from Greensboro” on July 6, according to a press release released today. .

As reported by Policy Watch, on June 30, the city of Greensboro illegally released 1,4-dioxane levels 20 times higher than the EPA’s recommended levels from its TZ Osborne wastewater treatment plant into the creek. South Buffalo, a tributary of the Haw River according to a press release from the NC Environmental Quality Department. Pittsboro gets its drinking water from the Haw River.

1,4-Dioxane is a toxic chemical used in degreasers that the EPA has classified as a probable carcinogen. There is no regulatory standard for 1,4-dioxane, but the EPA has set a health advisory target of 35 parts per billion for drinking water, which equates to an excess cancer risk 1 in 10,000 in the lifetime. The target for surface water is more stringent, at 0.35 ppb, a lifetime excess cancer risk of 1 million in 1.

Test results announced by the City of Pittsboro show that on July 6, the levels of 1,4-dioxane in raw water – directly from the Haw River – ranged from 26.5 parts per billion to 93.6 ppb. Treated drinking water from two sources was also high: Chatham Forest, 66.8 ppb and Water Reservoir, 21.7 ppb. The treated water from the Horton Reservoir was 1.71 ppb.

These levels are higher than those of July 2 when the raw water contained 1,4-dioxane levels at 76.5 parts per billion and the treated drinking water had levels below 1.25 ppb.

Meanwhile, results of upstream environmental testing from Shamrock showed that its mixed effluent in TZ Osborne’s wastewater treatment plan on July 6 and 8 reached 98.8 ppb.

A “channel seizure” – before the Shamrock wastewater was mixed – measured 466 ppb.

Although 1,4-dioxane is extremely difficult to remove from drinking water using conventional treatments, the City of Pittsboro refreshes the water in its reservoirs with better quality finished water to dilute and remove. contamination.

The TZ Osborne Wastewater Treatment Plant in Greensboro receives effluent from residential and industrial customers in Guilford County. Among these industrial clients, Shamrock Environmental, which is in the waste management business, including tanker cleaning services, has been named in several documents as the likely source.

Pittsboro officials said in a press release that recent rains, along with flushing the city’s system, are helping to reduce levels of contamination. The city will continue sampling until 1,4-dioxane levels are not detected.

Pittsboro plans to release the results of its sampling until July 9 tomorrow.

In addition, the Environmental Management Commission is due to discuss 1,4-dioxane at its meeting tomorrow, which begins at 9 a.m.


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