Oct 09, 2020

California Water Study Finds PFAS in Tested Wells

Research that the State Water Resources Control Board released found PFAS in many of the public water supply

water quality, pfas

60% of California’s public water supply wells tested for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contain the compounds.

These results are according to research that the State Water Resources Control Board released, reported Bloomberg Law.

The survey looked at airports, landfills, water supply wells and chrome-plating operations. Bulk fuel terminals and refineries will begin reporting at the end of this year, according to the State Water Resources Control Board.

More than 3,000 water samples have been taken so far at 30 airports, 196 landfills, and 900 public supply wells as part of the investigation. The tests detected PFOS, PFOA and seven other PFAS.

This investigation also found that groundwater and surface water sampled at airports far exceeded the concentrations detected in water near landfills and public supply wells. The findings detail the ongoing sampling effort launched in 2019. 

The PFAS sampling found concentrations of up to 1 million parts per trillion at airports, compared to 10,000 parts per trillion at landfills and 100 parts per trillion at public wells, according to the survey, reported Bloomberg Law.

Other interesting findings: The size of airports had no impact on PFAS concentration levels. And at landfills, contamination was more concentrated in leaching from solids than in groundwater.

“For me, this is a stark reminder about source control,” said board member Sean Maguire. “Ideally we’re getting it out of the system in the first place and stopping it from spreading.”

In September, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill banning firefighting foams containing PFAS. The state toxics agency is also reviewing PFAS in carpets, rugs, treated textiles, and food packaging.

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