Drinking Water Safety

North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality regulates drinking water throughout the state, and New Hanover County Public Health works closely with the department to advocate for the health and safety of residents. Below is information and resources from these and other agencies, to help keep the community informed about drinking water in the county, especially as it relates to GenX and PFAS.

Well Water Sampling

Well water sampling is available to New Hanover County residents whose primary source of drinking water is a private well. Sampling is free to qualifying households and is an important step in understanding the quality of drinking water from private wells.

Private drinking water well sampling began in February 2022 in New Hanover County, conducted by Parsons Environment and Infrastructure (Parsons), a third-party environmental consultant hired by Chemours to address PFAS contamination in local water sources.

More than 14,000 new residences may qualify for sampling after a recent expansion directed by the NC Department of Environmental Quality. To have your well sampled:

The call may be returned by Parsons Environmental, the authorized contractor for testing. If you don’t currently qualify for well testing, you may in the future. Chemours is required to keep your contact information and notify you if testing expands to your area.  

Click here to read more about well sampling information from NCDEQ.

Click here to download a flyer about well sampling from NCDEQ.

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Additional Resources

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality's (NCDEQ) Division of Water Resources is responsible for ensuring safe drinking water in accordance with federal requirements, issuing pollution control permits, monitoring permit compliance, evaluating environmental water quantity and quality, and carrying out enforcement actions for violations of environmental regulations. The division administers the laws, policies, and rules established by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the state's Environmental Management Commission, and the NC General Assembly.

In June 2017, NCDEQ and the Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) began investigating the presence of a compound known as GenX in the Cape Fear River in June 2017. The Chemours facility in Fayetteville was identified as the company that produces the GenX chemical for industrial processes.

The state's investigation focused on the protection of public health and drinking water; and as part of the state's investigation, DEQ began collecting water samples from multiple sites along the Cape Fear River, with additional samples collected throughout the region. Through this work and the advocacy of the county, city, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, and other community partners, Chemours' release into the Cape Fear River of GenX and two other fluorinated compounds has stopped and the state is developing better information needed to protect North Carolina's water quality and public health.

View the state's updates about water quality and GenX on the NCDEQ website, as well as their GenX Frequently Asked Questions (PDF).

Subscribe to receive email updates from New Hanover County about PFAS and water safety.

View the county’s past press releases, statements, letters, and meeting notes from 2017 regarding drinking water quality, as it relates to GenX and PFAS.