Mountain Island Lake, A Source of Charlotte’s Drinking Water, Receives Water from Power Plants’ Settling Ponds
Charlotte, NC draws drinking water from the lake, but there is no indication that the city’s drinking water is contaminated.
The study reported ash contaminants downstream of coal-fired power plant ash settling ponds in the 11 lakes and rivers sampled. Concentrations tended to be highest in small bodies of water, such as 2,914-acre Mountain Island Lake.
The coal burning plants have to sample their discharges for arsenic, mercury and selenium, but don’t have fixed limits on those elements. This means that power plant owners don’t have to take action if they see high readings.