Cape Fear Public Utility Authority officials announced Tuesday that the new granular activated carbon filters went online at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. No per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, including GenX, were detected in the treated drinking water from the North Carolina utility. 

The authority says it will continue to monitor PFAS levels in untreated and treated water at the Sweeney Plant, which provides drinking water to about 80% of the authority’s customers, sourcing water from the Cape Fear River.

“Five years ago, we learned Chemours and DuPont had been releasing GenX and other PFAS into the Cape Fear River, the main source of our drinking water,” CFPUA Board Chair Jennifer Adams says. “Five years ago, we came together as one community to find the best way to effectively treat PFAS for our current and future customers. Today, I am proud to tell you the treatment solution is here and working right now.”

Six of the eight deep-bed granular activated carbon filters are currently online, with a combined water treatment capacity of 33 million gallons per day, which is enough to meet current customer water demand. The remaining two filters are ready for service if needed.

The new filters at Sweeney contain almost 3 million pounds of granular activated carbon and is believed to be the largest granular activated carbon public water treatment facility in North Carolina.

Following a 2018 pilot study to evaluate potential water treatment technologies to remove PFAS, deep-bed granular activated carbon filters were selected as the best solution for the Sweeney Plant. Construction on the Sweeney treatment enhancements project began in November 2019.

Read more at, a daily news service of the North Carolina Coast Federation.