Explore tests of well water near Duke coal ash ponds
Posted June 24, 2015
Updated July 13, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Since late last year, state environmental regulators have been working with private laboratories to test the water quality of wells near the unlined dumps where Duke Energy stores coal ash, the byproduct of electricity generation.
As of July 8, officials at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources identified 446 wells for testing. Of the 285 wells with results back in to the state, about 93 percent show water that exceeds federal or state health standards for some trace elements. After evaluations by state health officials, more than 200 wells have received "do not drink" recommendations.
Many of the elements that have prompted the state to issue do-not-drink recommendations occur naturally in soil and geologic formations absent any intervention from humans.
State officials are also in the process of retesting dozens of wells for a carcinogenic element called hexavalent chromium because the original labs weren't able to detect it with enough precision. Hexavalent chromium is rarely found in the environment and is a common industrial waste. It's also found in coal ash.
Because the tests are ongoing and results are still rolling in, WRAL News' map of well test results will be updated when state officials supply new data.