Another unregulated contaminant is causing problems for the Greensboro Water Resources Department.

The good news for residents of Greensboro is that this contaminant was in Greensboro’s wastewater, not in Greensboro’s drinking water.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is investigating the release of the contaminant.

The contaminant – 1,4-dioxane – is one of the unregulated contaminants that the US Environmental Protection Agency and the DEQ have been monitoring since 2014.

DEQ discovered an unusually high concentration of the contaminant in the Cape Fear River basin and the source was confirmed to be Greensboro’s T.Z. Osborne Water Reclamation Facility.

According to a press release from the City of Greensboro, “The significant release of 1,4-dioxane on August 7, 2019 was a result of an error on the part of the industry. The City reported the high level through its NPDES [National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System] permit monitoring program established by the State of North Carolina. Subsequent monitoring has demonstrated the level has returned to normal low range.”

Shamrock Environmental Corporation, which pre-treats manufacturing and industrial wastewater in the Bryan Park Industrial Complex, was identified as the source.

According to a DEQ press release, Greensboro notified DEQ that an unspecified amount of 1.4-dioxane was released. The discharge permit is held by the City of Greensboro.

The DEQ press release states, “The city indicated that the discharge was detected and ceased and officials are cooperating with the investigation.

According to the DEQ, “1,4-dioxane is a compound that can be found in industrial solvents, paint strippers and varnishes and is often produced as a by-product of chemical processes to manufacture soaps, plastics and other consumer products.”