The town of Pittsboro is advising citizens to avoid the drinking water until further testing can be done after a 1,4-dioxane leak in Burlington.
According to a press release from the town, Pittsboro was notified of the presence of 1,4-dioxane in a routine test of water being released back into the Haw River from the facility at Burlington’s Wastewater Treatment Plant at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 22.
The test was performed on a sample from Sept. 14, causing uncertainty in whether the contaminated water has passed through the town already. Because testing is not performed over the weekend, the town estimates it will know by Sept. 25.
The town of Pittsboro has partnered with Chatham Marketplace to offer free reverse osmosis treated water to citizens who receive their water from the town. Customers can use the code 64261 to fill jugs and bottles for free.
Pittsboro is 30 miles downstream from Burlington and is advising residents to reduce using the water for non-essential uses, including watering lawns and washing cars.
1,4-Dioxane is mainly used as a solvent for chemical processing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC advises an intake of the chemical could have adverse reactions, but little is known about it.
This is the second time in two months that Burlington has advised Pittsboro of a 1,4-dioxane leak. In July, the South Burlington Wastewater Treatment Plant alerted Pittsboro of a contamination. It took a week for the contaminated water to make its way to Pittsboro and another 10 days until it was fully cleared.
Colby Sawyer, the town of Pittsboro’s public information officer and emergency management coordinator, did not respond to Elon News Network’s immediate request for comment.