ENC town hopes to get $15 million to fix water filtration system

MAYSVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – PFAS is a threat to clean water across North Carolina.

The so-called forever chemical, found in a number of commercial, cooking, and food take-out boxes, is reported to be linked to a number of terminal cancers and other health risks.

High levels of the chemical were found in the town of Maysville’s water system in 2019, but as WITN’s Deric Rush found out today, new funding could help find a permanent solution to the lingering problem.

Maysville Town Manager Schumata Brown says more help, in terms of funding to fix the problem, could soon be on the way. The town is submitting its proposal to receive an additional $15 million to help with the reconstruction of the water system.

Brown says $5 million will come from federal infrastructure grants, and he also says the town falls into the running for a state distressed utility grant. Both are devoted to fixing problems like these in rural communities.

Environmentalists say they are working to find the source of the chemicals in the town, and Brown says the new funding will go a long way.

“We were able to collect surface water samples for PFAS and surface waters from upstream and downstream of the town of Maysville so we’ll be able to identify if not just the groundwater is contaminated, but also surface water that surrounds the town,” Coastal Carolina Riverwatch Executive Director Lisa Rider said.

Brown says the town hopes to have reconstruction completed by next year.

“It has been a long process; we’ve been at this since 2019, but hopefully by next spring or next summer, we’ll be back up on our own water,” Brown says.

Brown says the only other facility in Eastern Carolina with its own updated full treatment system is located at the Cape Fear water treatment facility.

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