MEMO: First Results from Sutton Facility Water Sampling



To: Interested Parties

From: Megan Thorpe, Communications Director

RE: Sutton Facility Sampling Results 

Today, the Department of Environmental Quality posted results from water quality tests conducted on water samples taken from Duke’s Sutton facility, located near Wilmington, North Carolina on the Cape Fear River. 

September 22 results: Division of Water Resources staff took water samples at the south end of Lake Sutton on Sept. 22 following a breach of the impoundment at that location. Conditions were not safe for staff to sample other locations that day.

September 25, September 26, and September 27 results: Samples were taken at three locations on Sept.25, including at the breach, upstream of the facility and downstream of the facility. Daily sampling has continued at three locations since Sept. 25 (see map).

  • The samples were collected following the protocol required by N.C. Administrative Code state water quality standards.
  • DWR’s chemistry lab is conducting analysis of the samples.
  • Test results show all metals below state water quality standards with the exception of dissolved copper.
    • Dissolved copper showed a slight elevation which could be a result of extreme flooding in the area; copper levels were the same upstream, downstream and at the Sutton Lake breach.

DEQ will continue sampling at Sutton to monitor permit compliance and provide a more complete snapshot of water conditions at the facility and downstream.

This press release is related to: