Report from Duke University says high levels of chemicals found in lake

by: Mark Becker Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A new report by Duke University said it found high levels of dangerous chemicals in a local lake.

The Duke team took water samples from Mountain Island Lake, which is one of Charlotte’s sources for drinking water, and several others in 2010 and 2011 and said they found levels of arsenic well above those considered safe by the EPA. They said the levels of arsenic were 25 times higher than the EPA standard for drinking water.

The area is close to Duke Energy's coal-fired power plant, and the researchers suggest there is a direct connection.

They said that while coal plants filter most of their emissions into the air, they are discharging wastewater that may be contaminated.

A Duke Energy spokeswoman responded to that study Monday afternoon.

"This particular study takes one snapshot of the water in Mountain Island Lake. We know at Duke Energy that there's a much larger perspective here," said Erin Culbert.

Culbert said that Duke Energy is constantly testing the water in the lake and is absolutely confident it is safe.

"We know from decades of sampling that Mountain Island Lake remains in very good condition. We have no concerns at all for drinking water supplies."

Channel 9 also reached Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities, which said they're confident that Charlotte's water supply is safe.