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 (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 (C) or non-transient, non-community (NTNC) schools and child care facilities sample their finished drinking water for PFAS. If your question has to do with testing your private well for PFAS, please visit the DEP page on that topic or call/email Tracy Kelly at (207) 480-0583.
- All Public Water Systems that are either community water systems (C) or non-transient, non-community (NTNC) schools and childcare facilities must sample finished drinking water for PFAS by December 31, 2022. Systems who have 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 at every entry point to your distribution system;
- You may contact Maine Rural Water Association for PFAS sampling assistance.
- Results must be submitted to the DWP regardless of whether there are detects or not so the Program can verify that you have completed this sampling requirement;
- 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.
- The results are to be shared with the water system’s customers if the interim standard is met or exceeded.
- Treatment or other remedies must take place if the interim standard is exceeded.
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 (non-transient, non-community) 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.
For PFAS questions and sampling assistance, please contact the Maine Rural Water Association (MRWA) by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For general questions regarding this new legislation, please email Ashley Hodge at Ashley.Hodge@maine.gov. If you have system-specific inquiries, please contact your Public Water System Inspector.