News Flash

Water Management

Posted on: November 4, 2022

Department of Water Management Statement on Teer Quarry

Photo of Teer Quarry take from the shore with a rock in the foreground.

Durham’s Department of Water Management (Durham Water) is aware of a recent North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) public hearing regarding Teer Quarry, as well as media reports about the quarry and contaminants in groundwater near the site.

One of Durham Water’s primary missions is to provide safe, clean drinking water that meets all state and federal regulations to our customers. And, our team of plant operators, water & sewer maintenance staff, engineers, plant engineering & maintenance staff, customer billing services, and support staff do that daily—24/7/365. 

In addition to making sure our water is safe, clean, and available at your tap today, we are also working to ensure Durham’s long-term water supply in the future. This is one of the reasons we requested that Teer Quarry and a portion of the Eno River be reclassified as a water supply, so that Durham Water can store water in the quarry for later use. Teer Quarry has been used temporarily for this purpose in the past, specifically during the drought years of 2007 and 2008. 

Durham Water is not presently using Teer Quarry water for Durham’s drinking water, and it will be several years before this becomes a permanent solution. The presence of 1,4 Dioxane in the groundwater near Teer Quarry was not a surprise to us. We were aware of this and have been working with the NCDEQ to monitor the groundwater near the quarry and to assess how best to proceed. 

Durham Water has been testing the quarry’s water quality for approximately 15 years, and 1,4 Dioxane has never been found in Teer Quarry water. As a proactive measure, we hired a consultant earlier this year to study treatment technologies for the removal of 1,4 Dioxane and other contaminants, including PFAS, from the water.

Our commitment to our customers is to continue providing Durham customers with safe, clean drinking water now and in the future. To make that happen, our Durham Water team will continue to monitor environmental conditions, plan for future growth, and maintain infrastructure. Please visit www.DurhamSavesWater.Org for more information.

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