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Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention

A Division of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services

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Testing for PFAS in Public Drinking Water Systems

PFAS in Public Water Systems



Page Index

Important Highlights
Financial Assistance
Contacts
Confirmed PFAS Sampling Results
Frequently Asked Questions
Additional Resources


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are man-made chemicals that have been widely used since the 1940s in consumer products and industrial applications. Due to their widespread use and persistence in the environment, most people in the United States have been exposed to some level of PFAS. There is evidence to suggest that continued exposure above specific levels to certain PFAS may lead to adverse health effects.

With the passage of S.P. 64 (Resolve, To Protect Consumers of Public Drinking Water by Establishing Maximum Contaminant Levels for Certain Substances and Contaminants), the Maine legislature has mandated that all Community public water systems and Non-Transient, Non-Community (NTNC) schools and daycares sample their finished drinking water for PFAS.

 

Important Highlights

  • All Public Water Systems that are either Community water systems or NTNC schools and childcare facilities were required to sample finished drinking water for PFAS by December 31, 2022.  Systems that had tested for PFAS prior to June 21, 2021 are still required to re-test their water under this new legislation.
  • A PFAS sample must be taken from every entry point to your distribution system.
  • Maine Rural Water Association (MRWA) is an appropriate resource for PFAS sampling assistance.
  • Sample results must be submitted to the DWP regardless of the results. This will enable the Program to verify that sampling requirements have been met.
  • Ongoing PFAS sampling will occur for systems with detections.
  • An interim standard of 20 parts per trillion (PPT) for six PFAS (alone or in combination) is immediately in effect.
  • If the interim standard is met or exceeded, the results are to be shared with the water system’s customers.
  • If the interim standard is exceeded, treatment or other remedies must take place.
 

Financial Assistance

The Small Public Water System Emerging Contaminant Grant (DWP0299) has been developed to provide financial assistance for public water systems facing PFAS-related contamination issues. This funding is available for all Community systems (except those regulated by the PUC), and all NTNC systems regardless of size and “for-profit” status. The grants will cover eligible project costs up to $50K, with an additional $10K for engineering expenses. Click here for more information.

 

Contacts

For PFAS questions and sampling assistance, please contact the Maine Rural Water Association (MRWA) by email at pfasassistance@mainerwa.org.

For general questions regarding this new legislation, please contact one of our PFAS specialists:

  • Courtany Hanley:  Email or phone (207) 592-2168.
  • Jonathan O'Donnell:  Email or phone (207) 592-1734.

System-specific inquiries should be directed to your Public Water System Inspector.

Questions concerning PFAS in private wells: Please visit the DEP page on that topic or contact Tracy Kelly:  Email or phone (207) 480-0583.

 

Confirmed Results

This listing includes all Maine Public Water Systems required to sample for PFAS by 12/31/22. The results are from finished water samples reported to the Maine CDC Drinking Water Program as compliance samples since June 2021. Only results that have been verified by a confirmation sample are included unless the PWS has waived their opportunity for a confirmation sample or the results were non-detect. Results are updated approximately every four weeks.

Click here to see confirmed PFAS sampling results for all system facilities required to test (PDF)

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are PFAS?  How are we exposed to them?
  2. What are the exposure health effects?
  3. What is the new PFAS legislation in Maine?  Where can I find legislation text?
  4. What is the deadline for sampling finished drinking water?
  5. What does "finished drinking water" mean?
  6. What PFAS contaminants are now regulated?  What is the current drinking water standard for PFAS in drinking water in Maine?
  7. How many parts-per-trillion is a detection?  Does this apply to any of the regulated six contaminants or the sum of the six analytes of PFAS?
  8. Is sampling guidance available?
  9. Where can I get my water tested for PFAS?
  10. What parameters need to be analyzed and reported to the DWP?  Do I just report the regulated PFAS6 contaminants?
  11. Can I use a laboratory that is not on the accredited lab list for PFAS analysis?  Who will subcontract the PFAS analysis to a lab that is accredited for PFAS analysis?
  12. Does a field blank need to be collected at each sample site?  Do all field blanks need to be analyzed by the lab?
  13. I have previously sampled my water for PFAS.  Do I need to sample again?
  14. I am a consecutive public water system.  Do I still need to sample my water?
  15. I am a school or childcare facility that is on municipal water.  Do I need to sample for PFAS?
  16. What do I do if there is PFAS in my drinking water above Maine’s drinking water standard?
  17. How long after a detection does a system have before needing to report it to the DWP and customers?
  18. How do you report PFAS detections over 20 PPT to the customer?
  19. Do I (or my lab) still need to submit results if there are no detects?
  20. Does the lab or the system submit the lab results to the Drinking Water Program?
  21. Do PFAS numbers need to be included on Consumer Confidence Reports?
  22. I would like to test my private well for PFAS.  How do I do this?

View or download this information as a PDF.

 

Additional Resources

Updated 1/20/2023