PFAS RESOURCES

PFAS SOLUTIONS

ABOUT PFAS

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that have sometimes been called “forever chemicals” for their persistent nature in the environment, difficulty to remove through treatment, and bioaccumulation in humans and animals. Two types of PFAS — perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) — have been identified as toxic by the U.S. EPA, while many more of the nearly 5,000 PFAS formulas are either suspected contaminants or have yet to be studied thoroughly. Originally developed for non-stick coatings, stain-repellant fabric treatments, and firefighting foams, PFAS are especially prevalent near former areas of high use — such as manufacturing facilities, airports, military bases, or the sites of large fires — yet widely problematic.

In February 2020, the EPA issued preliminary determinations to regulate PFOA and PFOS under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and establish the first national PFAS monitoring and treatment requirements for drinking water utilities (see EPA’s PFAS Action Plan). Numerous U.S. states, however, have already developed rules and guidance for PFAS.

This solution center addresses the topics and questions most important to drinking water professionals as the PFAS issue evolves — How does PFAS get into drinking water? How do utilities monitor for PFAS? What treatment technologies remove PFAS? What are the regulatory limits for PFAS? — with answers provided through breaking news stories, editorial insight, and technical discussions.