Greensboro’s 1,4 Dioxane discharge impacting Pittsboro’s public drinking water system

Pittsboro, NC – The Town of Pittsboro has received notice that the City of Greensboro has once again exceeded their Special Order by Consent (SOC) Year One Compliance Value maximum of 35 ug/L (micrograms per liter) pursuant to the Amended EMC SOC WQ S19-010. Municipalities with drinking water intakes downstream, including Pittsboro, were notified by the City of Greensboro at 2:43 p.m. via email on April 6, 2022 with a notification stating that a grab sample in Greensboro indicated a release of 1,4 dioxane at concentration level of 52.2 ug/L. The most current sampling information received by the Town reports the Patton Trunkline in Greensboro had a 1,4 dioxane concentration level of 95.1 ug/L from its April 4, 2022 sample collection date. Based on these elevated results, Greensboro has ordered the following industries to send their weekly composite for the week of March 27 – April 2 for RUSH analysis and report the results ASAP:
• Ecolab, Elastic Fabrics, Lanxess, Precision Fabrics, Vertellus

The City of Greensboro issued a press release (see below) stating that via trunkline monitoring, surveillance sampling, and self-monitoring by selected Significant Industrial Users (SIU), the City has identified a significant source on the Patton Trunkline. The SIU, Lanxess, notified the Greensboro on April
7, 2022 that elevated levels of 1,4-dioxane were found based upon receipt of self-monitoring results.
The Town is aware of the situation and continues to work with the City of Greensboro to sample and inform the public. More details will be provided as rush sample results from each sampling point are delivered. Based on the current level of contamination, as the Town and others seek to determine the current stream flow rate of the Haw River and sampling data, the Town of Pittsboro wishes to inform our citizens, residents, and water customers that levels of 1,4 dioxane in the Pittsboro drinking water source may exceed the EPA’s Drinking Water Health Advisory Level of 35 ug/L and to act accordingly.

EPA has identified 1,4 dioxane, a clear liquid that is highly miscible in water, as a likely human carcinogen. 1,4 dioxane has historically been used as a solvent stabilizer and is currently used for a wide variety of industrial purposes. 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. The Town encourages our customers to consult
the EPA’s Risk Evaluation webpage for 1,4 dioxane and the EPA’s Technical Fact Sheet for 1,4 dioxane
for additional guidance and resources, please see this link. PDF

The town of Pittsboro will continue to monitor the situation with additional precautionary sampling, and they will continue to discuss remedies with NCDEQ and the City of Greensboro.


City Issues Notice of Elevated 1,4-Dioxane Discharge to South Buffalo Creek
GREENSBORO, NC (April 7, 2022) – On April 5, the City of Greensboro’s T.Z. Osborne Water Reclamation Facility had an elevated discharge of 1,4-dioxane to South Buffalo Creek, a tributary of the Cape Fear River basin. This discharge does not affect Greensboro’s drinking water quality. One result of a split sample recorded a concentration of 52.2 micrograms per liter of 1,4-dioxane and exceeded the City’s Amended Special Order by Consent (SOC) compliance value of 35 micrograms per liter. City staff has notified and is in coordination with the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) and downstream utilities.

Trunkline monitoring, surveillance sampling, and self-monitoring by selected Significant Industrial Users (SIU) has identified a significant source on the Patton Trunkline. The SIU, Lanxess, notified the City today that elevated levels of 1,4-dioxane were found based upon receipt of self-monitoring results. A meeting was held today with Lanxess to discuss next steps. The company is an organic chemical facility that manufactures a variety of formulations. Lanxess does not use or store 1,4-dioxane as a raw material nor does it manufacture 1,4-dioxane as a finished product. The company has been working closely with the City and previous self-monitoring/City sampling results did not indicate elevated concentrations of 1,4-
dioxane.

For more information about Greensboro’s 1,4-Dioxane Updates visit this website.