City of Jacksonville warns of water filtration scammers


JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - Some Jacksonville residents have concerns over their water given the nearby GenX issues with the Cape Fear Public Water Utility and door-to-door salesmen going through some local neighborhoods, peddling their wares on the backs of those concerns.

While City of Jacksonville officials say the local water systems aren't affected by the GenX toxin and recent sampling has proved the water safe, residents have still be targeted by individuals selling water filtration systems, hoping to cash in on fear.

"When I answered the door he just said, 'first of all I'm not trying to sell you anything I just wanna know if I can get a sample of your water from your hose,'" Jacksonville resident Bennett Craine told NewsChannel 12. "After he took it - the water sample - he just asked ... if I had heard about the gen-x that they're putting in our water now."

Jacksonville Public Services Director Wally Hansen reiterated that the problems Wilmington is facing with GenX are not present here.

"Where the City of Jacksonville is different from other places, specifically other places around the country that have had problems is the city does not get our drinking water from surface water," Hansen said, noting the city pulls its supply from deep underground wells as opposed to rivers. "The water has been filtered naturally through the process of moving through the different layers of earth. On top of that, the water that we pull from the shallower wells - the shallower being in the 200 feet range - we run through a state of the art nanofiltration plant."

Hansen said anyone selling water filtration systems in Jacksonville is required to have a business permit, and should be able to produce evidence of one if asked. Many of the homeowners that were contacted late last week were by individuals without that permit, Hansen said.