California Releases New PFAS Drinking Water Guidelines

CA SWRCBOn July 13th, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) established new Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) drinking water guidelines for water systems to follow in detecting and reporting the presence of PFOA and PFOS. The new guidelines establish an interim notification level of 14 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 13 ppt for PFOS, along with an interim response level of 70 ppt combined.

The interim notification levels do not require water systems to test their water for these contaminants. However, if they do test and the level is exceeded, then water systems are required to report the results to their governing boards and to the SWRCB, and also urged to report this information to their customers.

As part of the guidelines, the state also established an interim response level of 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS combined (consistent with EPA). If that level is exceeded, then the state recommends that the water system remove the water source from service. To date, 455 public water systems have tested for PFOA and PFOS. Of those, eight systems reported exceedances of the 70 ppt level for either PFOA, PFOS or both combined. These water systems either have taken steps to treat their water to a level below the health advisory or have taken the water source out of service.

For more information, visit the California SWRCB web site.