Neuse Woods community is safe to use water - WNCN: News, Weather

Neuse Woods community is safe to use water

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

A Raleigh community is safe to drink their water after a WNCN investigation exposed toxaphene, a cancer causing pesticide in their community well water.

The Neuse Woods community, located near Poole and Barwell Roads, learned last month about the contamination.

Friday, the water company, Carolina Water Service Inc., announced it had installed a water filtration system to remove the pesticide temporarily.

Carolina Water Service is a subsidiary of Utilities Inc.

CEO Lisa Sparrow says the company is reviewing three options for a permanent solution and says they will meet the Sept. 30 deadline required by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Neuse Woods resident Woot Gibson says he can now rest easy.

"It's nice to know something is going to happen… These kinds of things can get swept under the rug because this is not exactly a neighborhood that's going to have the resources to make an issue of it," Gibson said.

Since learning about the water contamination from WNCN, Clean Water for North Carolina has made multiple trips to the neighborhood to inform residents and offer bi-lingual notification.

"They're paying for their water. That hasn't stopped. People's bills have not stopped. They have the right to that clean water," said Clean Water for North Carolina Executive Director, Hope Taylor.

Toxaphene levels have been present at Neuse Woods for years, but Carolina Water Supply was not required to notify property owners and take corrective action until a recent quarterly sampling showed levels had increased above the safety standard.

"So it was more important in this case that the company move quickly than if it was a contamination that was just beginning to show up," said Taylor.  

While the problem in Neuse Woods may soon be corrected Taylor says the battle against pesticide contamination is far from over.

"Pesticides have historical uses that we are finding in our groundwater today. It's really tragic the fact that that legacy is out there and that people who use ground water for drinking are always going to have to be watchful," Taylor said.

Charlotte Huffman

An award-winning journalist with an investigative edge, Charlotte has driven legislative change with reports on workplace safety concerns and contaminated groundwater. Contact our Investigative Team anytime HERE. More>>

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