To assist North Carolina residents dealing with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in private drinking water wells, DEQ has established a pilot PFAS Reimbursement Program. Using the Bernard Allen Emergency Drinking Water Fund, the program provides some financial assistance for the purchase of treatment systems or, where feasible, connection to public water to reduce exposure to PFAS where no responsible party is providing alternative drinking water.
To accommodate as many affected residents as possible, the pilot reimbursement program is based on a tiered structure that considers treatment system type or public water connection and household income level. Qualifying property owners who cannot afford the purchase of a treatment system or connection to public water due to income level should contact the Bernard Allen Program Manager (listed below) to be considered for alternate funding options.
Basis for Determining Treatment Needs
In March 2023, USEPA proposed regulatory standards for the following six PFAS in public drinking water supplies. The final regulation is anticipated to be issued in September 2024, if not sooner. Owners of private drinking water wells that exceed one or more of the proposed regulatory standards may be eligible for partial or full reimbursement of a treatment system.
|4.0 ng/L (ppt), proposed
|4.0 ng/L (ppt), proposed
|Mixture of HFPO-DA (GenX Chemicals), PFBS, PFHXS, PFNA
|hazard index of 1.0
To qualify for the reimbursement program, the following criteria must be met:
- The residence is located in North Carolina where PFAS in groundwater is known to exist.
- The private well must be a sole source of drinking water.
- One or more PFAS must exceed a proposed state or federal regulatory limit in the "Basis for Determining Treatment Needs" above.
- The requestor must own the home (proof required.)
- There is no offer of alternative water from a third party.
Reimbursement of costs will be made available for approved applicants on a first-come, first-served basis and is not guaranteed to cover the entire cost of purchase and installation of the treatment system or a public water service connection. NCDEQ will pay approved applicant directly via US Mail.
Due to limited available funding, a tiered approach with partial and full reimbursement based on income level will benefit a higher number of citizens whose water supply contains PFAS above at least one of the proposed regulatory limits.
The proposed tiered reimbursement considers two factors:
- a choice of systems or public water service connection that will best fit the needs of the homeowner and
- a tiered household income level.
Treatment System and Public Water Service Connection Options
Treatment system and public water service connection options are grouped into three categories based mostly on cost but also considering effectiveness of currently installed systems, homeowner (user) feedback, and maintenance frequency.
- Group A: Point-of-entry, whole house reverse osmosis (RO) or Granular Activated Carbon (GAC), Kintetico K-5 Point-of-use under sink, or a public water service connection
- Group B: Point-of-use under sink RO
- Group C: Point-of-use under sink dual chamber carbon
Tiered Income Level Reimbursement
- Priority Range 1 (2X Poverty Level*)
- Priority Range 2 (2X Poverty Level to 4X Poverty Level)
- Priority Range 3 (Above 4X Poverty Level)
* Poverty level is based on annual data provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Treatment System Maximum Payout Chart
The Bernard Allen Memorial Emergency Drinking Water Fund, administered by the N.C. Division of Waste Management, was created in 2006 by to improve the state’s response to water supply well contamination and provide low-income households with a safe drinking water supply. The fund has three authorized uses: 1) pay for notice to persons whose wells were at risk from groundwater contamination; 2) pay for the costs of testing private wells; and 3) provide an alternate drinking water supply to well owners affected by the contamination.