What questions do you have about 1,4 dioxane? Participate in The Fayetteville Observer's live interview on Facebook with a top PWC official at 2 p.m. Friday.

 

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The Fayetteville Observer invites readers to participate in a live interview Friday with a top official from the city's Public Works Commission on the topic of 1,4 dioxane in the water supply.

Senior reporter Greg Barnes will discuss the issue with Mick Noland, the PWC's chief operating officer, at 2 p.m. on the Observer's Facebook page. The conversation will be livestreamed, giving viewers a chance to pose questions through the comments. To watch the interview or participate, follow @fayobserver on Facebook.

Barnes reported on Sunday that the chemical 1,4 dioxane is being discharged from industries in Asheboro, Reidsville and Greensboro, where the wastewater treatment plants haven't been able to filter it out. The contamination enters the Cape Fear River, which serves as a drinking water source for some or all of Lee, Harnett, Cumberland and Moore counties, as well as Fort Bragg.

The 1,4 dioxane levels have been rising over the past year in the river basin, which has been found to have among the highest concentrations in the country. In Fayetteville over the past six months, a median level of 3.3 parts per billion has been detected at the PWC's intake on the river. The Environmental Protection Agency considers levels under 0.35 parts per billion to be safe.

Barnes' story Sunday questioned why state and federal regulators haven't taken steps that would require the discharges to stop immediately. In one case, a draft permit for the Asheboro water treatment plant would give it three years to bring 1,4 dioxane levels down to 149 parts per billion.

If you'd like to submit your questions in advance, send them by email to news@fayobserver.com, subject line: Dioxane. The video of the interview with Noland will be posted at fayobserver.com later Friday.

Executive editor Matt Leclercq can be reached at mleclercq@fayobserver.com or 910-486-3551.