The subject of national attention due to concerns about potential health impacts, PFAS is a group of substances that have been widely used for decades in industry and consumer goods. As part of our steadfast commitment to providing reliable, high-quality drinking water, we want you to know what we do to safeguard our water supply from PFAS pollution. We are following and participating in policy and scientific research regarding PFAS, and remain confident in the safety of our high-quality tap water.
PFAS: What Are They?
- Human-made perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly called PFAS, have been used in industrial applications and a wide range of consumer products involving cookware, food packaging, water and stain resistant fabrics, paper products and firefighting foams.
- PFAS substances have been used globally for decades and do not break down easily or quickly. PFAS are widespread around the world, even found in remote environments such as the Arctic.
- There are thousands of PFAS compounds. Initial research suggests some types of PFAS may be linked to health problems.
Customer and Safety Concerns
- In Connecticut, there have been media reports of PFAS detected in the Connecticut River and other waterways. Fortunately, none of these significant PFAS pollution events have affected drinking water sources.
- While there are no federal or state drinking water regulations for PFAS in Connecticut, the EPA set a health advisory level as a guideline in 2016. Connecticut has a Drinking Water Advisory Level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for the sum of five different PFAS compounds: PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHxS and PFHpA.
- The RWA conducts a rigorous schedule of source water testing to ensure our water is safe and of the highest quality. We also go to great lengths to protect the lands our water is sourced from.
- While PFAS are not currently regulated, the RWA proactively tested for PFAS in our source waters in 2019. We found that any presence of PFAS in our source waters is well below Connecticut’s health advisory limits, further reaffirming the safety and high quality of our water.
- Through our watershed and aquifer inspection program, we updated our water supply plan inventory of land use activities to include potential PFAS generators in our watershed and aquifer areas to assist us in the identification of potential areas of concern should they be close to one of our water resources. Sites identified as potential PFAS generators have been prioritized for inspection.
- We are collaborating with Connecticut’s inter-agency task force and our local water industry partners to better understand the influence of source water contamination and stay on top of the latest scientific information.
- We have been in close communication with local health departments and the state Department of Public Health to provide an overview of the RWA’s PFAS monitoring and testing. They are satisfied with the RWA’s current efforts to ensure our drinking water is safe and of the highest quality.
- The RWA continues to follow the state and national discussion and latest scientific discoveries to ensure the integrity of our water supply.
- The RWA’s state-of-the-art laboratory is the only lab in Connecticut approved to test drinking water for PFAS.