Drop of water | PFAS Assessment for U.S. state Public Water System

PFAS Assessments for State-Wide Public Water Systems

Challenge:

Between 2013–2015 a U.S. state's Public Water Systems (PWSs) were required to sample and analyze their entry points to the drinking water distribution system for selected unregulated contaminants per the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule Round 3 (UCMR3). Six of the Assessment List 1 unregulated contaminants included different poly- and perfluorinated compounds (PFAS). These were:

  • Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)
  • Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA)
  • Perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS)
  • Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA)
  • Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS)

These samples had to be collected in specified bottles and preserved in the field to minimize the potential for the PFAS from degrading prior to laboratory analysis. In addition, for any PWSs that pretreated their water prior to distribution with chlorine dioxide, the water had to be sparged with nitrogen gas to eliminate the disinfectant prior to sampling.

Solution:

Because many PWSs run short staffed, Antea Group was contracted to assist about 130 state PWSs with their sampling and analysis over the three-year program. Our highly qualified and pre-trained statewide group of sample teams, using special nitrogen gas sparge systems, completed all sampling within the EPA-approved schedule and within our PWS-approved budgets.

Result:

Unregulated Contaminate Monitoring Rule (UCMR) assessment occurs every five years, and the first PFAS ever sampled for occurred during UCMR3. Through Antea Groups successful PFAS sampling, data from the state's PWSs was added to a nationwide graphic that illustrates the detection occurrences. (View the contamination tracking map.)

Learn more about Antea Group's PFAS management support today.