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Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a family of chemicals used widely in products that resist heat, oils, stains and water. Products manufactured with PFAS include: non-stick cookware; fast-food packaging and pizza boxes; stain- and water-repellant fabrics, including clothing and carpets; and other products found under the brand names Scotchgard, Gore-Tex and Teflon. They also were used in fire-fighting foam (a major source of groundwater contamination at airports and military bases).
There are thousands of types of PFAS, but the two most commonly used, studied and regulated are Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). The use of PFOA and PFOS in the U.S. was voluntarily phased out in the 2000s, though they are still used in products manufactured in other countries.
PFOA is a possible human carcinogen. If people ingest PFAS, through food or water that contain them, the PFAS can accumulate in the body. They stay in the body for long periods of time and the level of PFAS may accumulate to the point where people experience adverse health effects.
MVWD has tested for PFOA and PFOS and they were not detected in our drinking water supply.
Based on water quality regulations, MVWD tested for PFAS in 2013 and there was no detection of PFAS in MVWD water sources. Recent legislation passed by the California legislature authorizes the state to develop stricter regulations for monitoring PFAS and they are currently conducting a statewide assessment to determine the scope of contamination by PFAS in water systems and groundwater.
As with all water quality monitoring and testing, results are made public in MVWD’s Annual Water Quality Report, which is published and provided to all MVWD customers by July 1st each year. The most recent Annual Water Quality Report can be viewed here.
If PFOA or PFOS are detected in our water supply at unacceptable levels, water quality can be improved by:
California Division of Drinking Water: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/drinkingwater/PFOA_PFOS
Association of California Water Agencies: Fact Sheets