Phenols-Randleman Watershed Sampling

In addition to the violations of the chlorophyll-a standard, estimated concentrations of phenols could be in violation of state water quality standards.

In 1997, water quality sampling for the proposed reservoir found violations of the water quality standard for phenols in 36 of the 45 samples.1

The highest concentration was 52 times greater than the standard, with a number of violations greater than 20 times the water quality standard.2

Contamination from phenols have increased in both the frequency of violations and the severity of the contamination. In 1992 and 1993 a total of 126 samples were taken, and 70 of the 126 samples showed violations greater than or equal to two times the standard, with the highest concentration 17 times greater than the standard.3

“ Phenols may enter surface waters from a variety of sources including manufacturing (resins,plastics,fibers,adhesives, iron and steel,aluminum, leather, and rubber), agriculture (animal wastes, decomposition of organic wastes, agricultural burning), highway runoff (phenol is a constituent of automobile exhaust), and landfill leachate. The apparent presence of peak concentrations in two different areas of the Deep River suggests there may be multiple sources. “4

Results of water quality modeling for the proposed reservoir indicate the water quality standard for phenols could be violated in two segments of the proposed reservoir.5

In the New York Times article by Gina Kolata, "Report Links Organic Solvents to Birth Defects", March 24, 1999, Canadian scientists have reported women exposed to organic solvents like phenols, xylene, and acetone during pregnancy have a much higher probability of having a child with birth defects.



1 “ Water Quality Monitoring Data For Waters in the Upper Deep River Area , May 5, 1997-September 3, 1997”, N.C. Division of Water Quality, Water Quality Section, Environmental Sciences Branch, March 1998, p.2.

2 Ibid.

3 “ Water Quality Monitoring Data For Waters in the Upper Deep River Area , July 28, 1992 - October 7, 1993 ”, N.C. Division of Environmental Management, Water Quality Section, Environmental Sciences Branch, September 1994, p. 31 - 33.

4 Implementation Plan March 1998, sec. 3,p.17.

5 Ibid. sec.3, p.19.