A new study conducted by UNC researchers showed some predominately African-American communities in Wake County lack access to the municipal water system and have higher quantities of contaminants in their well water.
These neighborhoods, known as donut holes, are surrounded by nearby predominately white neighborhoods that do have municipal access.
Contaminants in their well water include E. coli and bacteria associated with human fecal matter. Nearly 30 percent of the well water tested in the study contained coliform bacteria.
Jacqueline Gibson, head author of the study and associate professor in the Gillings School of Public Health, said the neighborhoods are not included in any city limits, and thus do not have access to any municipal services.
“There has been a historical pattern for drawing city boundaries so that certain black neighborhoods were not included,” she said. “If they did not include them, the city did not have to pay for the services.”