New Well Tests Support Duke Energy Position Of 'Naturally Occurring' Contaminates

Aug 18, 2015

Duke Energy's Marshall Steam Station in Catawba County.
Credit Duke Energy

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has released more test results of water wells near three Duke Energy power plants.

These tests were conducted on “background wells” - far enough away from the Allen Steam Station, Buck Steam Station and Marshall Steam Station coal-fired power plants so as not to be impacted by them, thus giving a result that can be used as a comparison to the wells that are closer.

The results show that many of the harmful heavy metals found in the wells adjacent to power plants also show up in similar levels in the background wells.

All of the wells tested met federal drinking water standards.

“The new results validate what we and others have been saying—the constituents found in the water samples occur naturally at various levels across the state,” Duke Energy said in a press release.

Previously, about 300 well owners who live near power plants were told not to drink their well water.

As part of the Coal Ash Management Act, DENR is currently conducting a comprehensive groundwater assessment of drinking wells near all fourteen of the state’s facilities with coal ash pits.