Understanding PFAS

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of manufactured organic chemicals that are used in a variety of products for their nonstick properties (e.g., Teflon, Scotchgard), as well as in industrial applications such as firefighting. Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) usage at military bases and airports are sources of PFAS in drinking water supplies near those locations.

This is one of the most rapidly changing landscapes in drinking water contamination. [Company Name] is investing time and effort as well as engaging with other experts in the field to understand PFAS in the environment.

There are thousands of PFAS, two of the most well-known, PFOA and PFOS, have been phased out of production, but replacement compounds, such as “GenX,” and other short-chain PFAS, have been developed and are increasingly being detected in the environment.

We take water quality and safety very seriously, and we are very proud of our water quality record. We are investigating the PFAS levels that have been posted. This includes a review of available water quality information and the collection of additional samples.

We are coordinating with [State] EPA as we work through this process and will continue to inform you regarding the results through our annual water quality reports. [insert CCR URL]

PFAS have been linked to various toxicological issues and are highly persistent in the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a non-enforceable Health Advisory Level of 70 nanograms per liter or parts per trillion (ppt) for combined PFOA and PFOS. Several States have established requirements for different PFAS ranging from MCLs to notification and response levels to guidance levels. The EPA released a PFAS Strategic Road Map in 2021 that further commits to regulation of PFOA and PFOS, and also commits to a nationwide survey of 29 PFAS compounds in drinking water (UCMR5).

PFAS Environment Graphic

Source:AWWA Water Science, Volume: 3, Issue: 5, First published: 24 September 2021, DOI: (10.1002/aws2.1236)

Measurement/Parts Per Trillion Definition & Examples

  • Most of our contaminants are measured using concentration units such as ppm, ppb, and ppt. To realize how small a value this is and how difficult this contaminate is to trace in the environment, see the analogies listed below:

Parts Per Trillion Infographic

 

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