City of ENC hopes to get $15 million to repair water filtration system

MAYSVILLE, NC (WITN) – PFAS is a threat to clean water throughout North Carolina.

The so-called forever chemical, found in a number of commercial, kitchen and take-out cans, is believed to be linked to a number of terminal cancers and other health risks.

High levels of the chemical were found in the city of Maysville’s water system in 2019, but as WITN’s Deric Rush discovered today, new funding could help find a permanent solution to the lingering problem .

Maysville City Manager Schumata Brown said more help, in terms of funding to fix the problem, may soon be on the way. The city submits its proposal to receive an additional $15 million to help rebuild the water system.

Brown says $5 million will come from federal infrastructure grants, and he also says the city is in the running for a distressed utility grant from the state. Both are dedicated to solving problems like these in rural communities.

Environmentalists say they are working to find the source of the chemicals in the city, and Brown says the new funding will go a long way.

“We were able to collect surface water samples for PFAS and surface water upstream and downstream of the town of Maysville so that we could identify whether not only the groundwater is contaminated, but also the surface water that surround the city,” Coastal said Lisa Rider, executive director of Carolina Riverwatch.

Brown says the city hopes to have the reconstruction completed by next year.

“It was a long process; we’ve been at it since 2019, but hopefully by next spring or summer we’ll be back on our own water,” Brown says.

Brown says the only other facility in East Carolina with its own updated comprehensive treatment system is located at the Cape Fear Water Treatment Facility.

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