What are PFAS?
PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a large group of manufactured substances that do not occur naturally in the environment and are resistant to heat, water, and oil. PFAS have been used in a range of industrial and everyday consumer products, such as surface coating for carpeting and upholstery, food paper wrappings, nonstick cookware and fire-fighting foams. Due to the fact that PFAS have been widely used since the 1940s, and that they are nearly indestructible, PFAS have been found both in the environment and in blood samples of people tested.
Specifically, Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), two types of the PFAS group, are no longer manufactured or imported into the United States; however, there could be some imported goods containing trace amounts of these substances remaining in the U.S.
How does PFAS get into drinking water?
The four major sources of PFAS are: fire foams used in fire training/fire response sites, industrial and manufacturing sites, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants. PFAS can get into drinking water when products containing them are used or spilled onto the ground or into lakes and rivers. Once in groundwater, PFAS can easily travel long distances and can contaminate the soil and drinking water. PFAS can also be released in the air, which can also end up in rivers and lakes used for drinking water.
What are the regulations in place for PFOA and PFAS?
Notification Levels and Response Levels have been established by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Drinking Water (DDW) for PFOA and PFOS:
Should I be concerned about RPU’s water?
RPU has not detected PFAS above the notification levels in water distributed to its customers. RPU will continue to monitor for PFAS and will report the data to the public in the annual Water Quality Report, published at end of the fiscal year on RiversidePublicUtilities.com/Water
RPU is committed to providing safe and dependable drinking water that meets or exceeds all state and federal requirements and will continue to remain engaged and implement necessary solutions for PFAS treatment.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
For additional questions, contact a RPU Water Systems Representative at: (951) 351-6370
or our 311 Call Center at: (951) 826-5311