Water Wednesday Recap – What’s Next??

Clean Cape Fear and the Cape Fear Community College's Sustainability Committee hosted our Water Wednesday event, Just the Facts Please: An Evening with Scientists last night at CFCC's Union Station. About a hundred citizens were in attendance to hear from chemist Detleff Knappe and toxicologists Jaime DeWitt, Jane Hoppin and Robert Smart.

HEALTH STUDY: Hoppin said she is in the final stages of a $275,000 grant proposal to the National Institutes of Health to conduct a health study this fall on 200-400 Wilmington-area residents.

“We’re starting small,” Hoppin said, “and either it will set the stage for a bigger study or the study the Centers for Disease Control is doing.”

IS IT SAFE?: Asked if she would drink the water, DeWitt said that as a person who is not pregnant, nursing or dealing with health issues, she would. But, she said “This is not a choice we should have to make; we should be able to assume our water is safe.”

WHAT ABOUT REVERSE OSMOSIS: Knappe collected reserve osmosis data from several households and found that RO systems “ . . . work effectively to remove GenX and also the other perfluorinated chemicals in the water.”  He continued to share that the waste to usable water ratio with RO is 5:1 so for one gallon of water filtered for consumption, five (contaminated gallons) go right back down the drain.  He mentioned that since most water use in a home is not for consumption or cooking, but rather for bathing, flushing toilets, etc., he has been suggesting folks who have the means to purchase under-the-sink systems, rather than whole house systems. 

What about folks who don’t have the means???...

WHAT’S NEXT?: The consensus across the panel was that we should not have to filter our water. Robert Smart said that the system is not set up to protect our health; we should not be allowing corporations to dump toxic chemicals into our drinking water supply before they are comprehensively studied. DeWitt agreed, “There is no reason for [toxic chemicals] to be leached or released out into the environment until we have a full understanding of their toxicity," she said. 

If you agree, and think Chemours should step up to the plate and provide our community with clean water, sign and share our petition HERE. 

Dana SargentComment