Badin Business Park is committed to protecting the water quality in Badin Lake. Like many companies, it has a permit under the Clean Water Act that allows it to discharge very low levels of fluoride and other constituents — typically measured in parts per million, or parts per billion — into the water. The state and federal government regulate the level of allowable discharges to protect water quality and ensure that it is safe for human health and the environment.

NPDES Permit Renewal Process

A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit regulates what Badin Business Park can discharge into Badin Lake and an unnamed tributary to Little Mountain Creek. The current permit took effect on August 1, 2019 and expires on October 31, 2022. You can review the permit here.

Badin Business Park submitted an application to renew its permit on April 25, 2022. The State of North Carolina will develop a draft permit for public review and comment. The timing for the development of the draft permit will be determined by DEQ.

Monitoring Water Quality

Badin Business Park monitors and reports stormwater and groundwater discharges at 11 outfalls, or drainage areas, each month. These monitoring reports are submitted to the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

Two of the substances that we monitor are fluoride and cyanide which have daily maximum and monthly average limits. The reports show that Badin Business Park complies with all daily maximum limits. There is one area (Outfall 005) that discharges to an unnamed tributary to Little Mountain Creek that has not consistently met monthly average limits for fluoride and cyanide.

In addition, water quality samples are collected from Badin Lake each month. Six samples are collected within approximately 20 feet of the discharges from the diffuser. This includes samples taken on the surface of the water and approximately 10 feet below the surface. View the monitoring results below.

Link to Monitoring Results

Note: Monitoring results will be updated quarterly.

What you need to know about fluoride

  • Many of America’s public water systems add small amounts of fluoride to their water supply because it has been proven effective at preventing tooth decay. However, higher concentrations of fluoride are discouraged.
  • For reference, the drinking water standard for fluoride is 4 parts per million. Badin Business Park’s permit limit (monthly average) is 1.8 parts per million.
  • Badin Business Park’s fluoride discharges are within the limits established by the EPA for fluoride in drinking water.

What you need to know about cyanide

  • Discharges from Badin Business Park do not contain any detectible levels of free cyanide, the most toxic form of cyanide.
  • Certain types of cyanide are more toxic than others. Free cyanide is ubiquitous in plants such as cherries and apricots.
  • Industrial operations, such as aluminum smelting, generate iron cyanide compounds which are not toxic by themselves and do not produce free cyanide under normal environmental conditions.
  • Federal water quality standards[1] are based on the measurement of free cyanide, the most toxic form of cyanide. The State of North Carolina has historically measured total cyanide (toxic and nontoxic forms of cyanide) when regulating water quality but amended its regulations in 2023 to allow the option of analyzing cyanide as either available or total cyanide. This aligns with, but is slightly more conservative, than the EPA recommendation to analyze free cyanide.
  • For reference, the EPA drinking water standard for cyanide is 200 parts per billion. Badin Business Park’s permit limit (monthly average) is 5 parts per billion.

What is 5 parts per billion?

The federal water quality permit issued to Badin Business Park allows it to discharge cyanide at a rate of five parts per billion. Here’s a look at how small that amount is:
seconds between now and 2052 (31+ years)
inches from Badin, NC to Tokyo, Japan (6,895 miles)
Less than one tablespoon in a Olympic Size pool (660,000 gallons)
Fewer than two people in the United States (331 million people)
grains of sand in a dump truck (14 tons)

*Note: Badin Business Park has no detectable levels of free cyanide (the most toxic form of cyanide) in its discharges.