Water tested for GenX at 2 Cumberland County elementary schools, results pending

The water at two Cumberland County elementary schools were tested for GenX on Thursday (Lauren Haviland/CBS North Carolina)

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — The state tested for the chemical known as GenX in the water at two Cumberland County elementary schools that serve more than 1,100 students on Thursday.

The state now has test samples from well water at Alderman Road and Gray’s Creek Elementary schools. That water could have high amounts of GenX.

State officials arrived early on Thursday at Alderman Road Elementary School.

“We hope that we will not find any contamination in these wells,” said the Director of Division of Waste Management at NCDEQ, Michael Scott.

Cumberland County parents hope not either. Many have continued to voice concerns.

“We really are trying to meet all of their children’s needs and their concerns,” Scott said.

Hundreds of wells, within about a one mile radius of the Chemours plant, have been tested for GenX after the plant announced the chemical had been dumped into the Cape Fear River.

“We wanted to ensure that we broadened our scope, or radius, from the Chemours plant to sample some of those wells the community had mentioned that serve multiple individuals, or in this case children,” said Scott.

Alderman Road and Gray’s Creek Elementary schools are about a half-mile from each other, and about four miles from the plant.

State officials came to test the well water at both campuses on Thursday. Around 1,100 students drink and wash their hands using that water.

“If we find GenX, and find GenX at a level above that health goal of 140 parts per trillion, then we would recommend to Cumberland County Schools that they continue an alternative water source,” Scott told CBS North Carolina.

Officials collected multiple bottles of water at each school. They will be analyzed by a lab in Charleston, South Carolina.

CBS North Carolina reporter Lauren Haviland asked Scott “If (the samples) test positive for GenX, what will that mean?”

“What it will mean is, unfortunately, we will continue to work with Chemours to expand their sampling radius of where they’re looking for this perfluorinated compound,” he said.

The State has asked for the testing to be expedited, but it could be at least 10 days until we learn the results.

In the meantime, students are being given bottled water.

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