Analysis by the Environmental Finance Center compares water and sewer revenues with operation and maintenance costs. Gray dots show municipal systems that have enough revenue to cover expenses. Peach-colored pentagons show show those with enough revenues to cover their combined expenses and debts. The bright red squares represent those without enough revenue to cover regular operating and maintenance expenses. Almost a quarter of systems across the state fall in those categories coming up short. Thanks, in part, to Florence and Matthew, many of those are clustered in the east. CAROLINA PUBLIC PRESS Taking stock of what it will take to rebuild after Hurricane Florence, it’sRead More →

Ben Kearns, second from left, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority water operations supervisor, explains water-filtration testing equipment during an August 2017 legislative tour of the authority’s Sweeney Water Treatment Plant in Wilmington. Kirk Ross / Carolina Public Press  By KIRK ROSS Carolina Public Press State House and Senate leaders announced a long-sought agreement last week on a statewide response to “emerging contaminants,” a class of new, unregulated compounds that have been found in North Carolina rivers and whose effects on human health are unclear. Close to 90,000 of these potentially hazardous substances are known to exist. For water-quality regulators at the state, federal and localRead More →

New Bern residents may have noticed a change in their city tap water which, as one resident pointed out vividly but probably hyperbolically, suddenly tastes like shit. Beginning on April 16 and continuing until June 18, the city changed the disinfectant used in the water treatment process from chloramines to free chlorine. The city started using chloramines as a secondary disinfectant starting in 2010. This involves adding a small amount of ammonia after water is chlorinated. Compared to free chlorine, chloramines form fewer chemical byproducts, improve taste and odor, and last longer in the water system to prevent bacterial growth. But! “It is customary forRead More →