Wilmington, NC. July 14, 2017 -The crisis in the Cape Fear region continues despite promises by both the company responsible and the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority to put an end to discharges of a dangerous, cancer-causing chemical into the river. It has been found that this chemical, GenX, may be responsible for elevated cancer rates in New Hanover County and has been discharged by Chemours since the 1980’s. Citizens have been advised to stop drinking the water.
Local businesses have also expressed concerns about GenX. Businesses have noticed a decline in customers ordering water or customers ordering bottled water. Kathyrn Jefferys of Tavern Law expressed worries over GenX affecting both her business and her customers. “We’re just really concerned for the business that if people, ya know the more we learn about this. It’s in our ice, it’s in the soda guns, ya know if you really think about it’s just something were afraid that can affect our business, and also we want our customers to be healthy and feel healthy and still want to go out and grab a cocktail,” Jefferys said.
Jefferys and the owner of Cafe Bistro are both considering getting reverse osmosis filters installed, which can filter out GenX. Another local business, Sea Level Gourmet, has also installed a reverse osmosis filter. Tidal Creek, a local grocery store, has always had a reverse osmosis filter and is raising funds to buy a filter for the community center Dreams of Wilmington.
The house manager of Sea Level Gourmet stated that, “”We put it in so we could provide the cleanest possible water for our customer base. We care about our customers and we want them to have the cleanest quality of water.” Other companies have found sales go up due to the GenX crisis. Culligan Water Conditioning company has seen an increase in business since news of water contamination broke. The company provides reverse osmosis filters and bottled water.