High levels of arsenic found in Mountain Island Lake

Higher than normal levels of arsenic have been found in a cove in Mountain Island Lake, near where Duke Energy drains water from the coal ash basin.

The report said on June 20, 2016 there were high levels of arsenic. On June 24, they tested again and the levels were even higher.

Charlotte Water said the levels are still in acceptable ranges. However, Duke Energy has stopped releasing the water from the basin for now.

Charlotte Water said the drinking water supply is still safe, and levels of arsenic are already in the water on a daily basis in general.

Duke Energy released the following statement to FOX 46 Charlotte Wednesday: 

“We understand that Mt. Island Lake is an important water source for the Charlotte area and want to ensure that this valuable resource remains protected. Dewatering is a necessary step in closing ash basins. We’ve  stopped all dewatering operations as a precautionary measure at this time. We have not seen any impacts in the main channel of the lake where most post people recreate, and this would not impact Charlotte’s drinking water supply.

We are currently in the process of building a water treatment system on site and will not continue dewatering operations until that system is becomes operational. We continue to operate within permit limits at the site and the state designs these permits to protect water quality and public health.”

As a side note, Duke Energy is releasing the water from the coal ash basin as a step to begin removing the coal ash. As more and more water is drained from the basin, levels of things like arsenic begin to go up because they are getting closer and closer to the coal ash.

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