On March 14, 2023, the U.S. EPA announced the first ever federal limits on per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS). The initial proposal, a federal limit of 4 parts per trillion (ppt), may have many smaller water utilities in a panic. Most technologies that are known to effectively remove PFAS can be expensive to both purchase and operate. These municipalities and their treatment plants may be concerned they have neither the capital nor the expertise/manpower to run such equipment.
But small utilities have two reasons to be hopeful. First, federal funding is currently available specifically for capital investments for removing PFAS. Second, technologies exist that can remove PFAS and are simple and cost effective to operate.
If smaller utilities begin researching potential PFAS solutions now, they will be able to fully take advantage of federal funding and the goal of 4 ppt will be within reach.