Testing for PFAS in Public Drinking Water Systems
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-L.D. 129 (Resolve, To Protect Consumers of Public Drinking Water by Establishing Maximum Contaminant Levels for Certain Substances and Contaminants), the Maine legislature has mandated that Public Water Systems that are either community water systems (CWS) or non-transient, non-community (NTNC) schools and child care facilities sample their finished drinking water for PFAS.
- All Public Water Systems that are either community water systems (CWS) or non-transient, non-community (NTNC) schools and child care facilities must sample finished drinking water for PFAS by December 31, 2022. Systems who have previously tested for PFAS are still required to re-test their water under this new legislation.
- Any PFAS detections are to be reported to the Drinking Water Program as well as the water system’s customers.
- On-going 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.
- Treatment or other remedies must be put into place if the interim standard is exceeded.
- A rule-making process takes place to establish PFAS MCLs.
- A report is sent to the legislature each January 1st detailing the DWP’s progress in implementing these regulations.
For general questions regarding this new bill, please email Ashley Hodge at Ashley.Hodge@maine.gov or call (207) 822-2341. If you have system-specific inquiries, please contact your Public Water System Inspector.