The State Water Resources Control Board today posted the first results of testing for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) for nearly 600 drinking water supply wells, part of a comprehensive effort to assess the presence of these contaminants in water systems and groundwater statewide.
The results can be viewed on interactive maps on a user-friendly online portal that the State Water Board created for public reporting of the testing data.
In this first phase of testing, public water systems were ordered to sample drinking water supply wells near landfills or airports, locations where these chemicals are believed to be especially prevalent. They were also ordered to test wells near where the contaminants had been found previously.
PFOA and PFOS are chemicals that have been used in numerous industrial and consumer applications, from flame retardant foams commonly used at airports to water-repellent coatings for outdoor apparel, many of which were likely to have been discarded in landfills. These chemicals are particularly concerning because they don’t readily break down in the environment and have been found to accumulate over time in the human body.