What are PFAS?

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (“PFAS”) are manmade synthetic substances. These substances have many uses and are found in our daily lives in applications and products such as nonstick coatings, firefighting foam, water repellent clothing and stain-resistant fabrics. They also are used in manufacturing of some electrical components and in the oil and gas industries. There literally are thousands of different chemicals that fall under the general classification of “Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances” as well as thousands of uses for this class of chemicals. These chemicals are very resistant to degradation, treatment and removal and are persist in the environment for extremely long times; even earning the nickname “forever chemicals”.

What action did the EPA recently take?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published (March 14, 2023) its proposed rule on PFOAS chemicals in drinking water. Six PFOAS chemicals are proposed for regulation in the rule, these are shown in the table below along with our analysis results. PFAS and PFOA, have a proposed 4 ppt Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) the remaining 4 compounds (HFPO-DA, PFBS, PFNA, PFHxS ) are grouped together with their analyzed concentrations weighted by their health based water concentrations and summed. The summation of theses values is designated the Hazard Index value (HI). The Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) for this value is < 1.

How does this apply to MUB?

The upcoming unregulated contaminate monitoring rule 5 (UCMR5) looks at some of the more common of these compounds found in drinking water. Morgantown Utility Board's latest UCMR sampling is provided below.

In our continuous efforts to ensure the best water quality to our customers, Morgantown Utility Board is taking a proactive approach to understanding these substances in our environment. The below table shows the four most common of these in our finished product. Morgantown Utility Board is pleased to report that these results range from extremely low to non-detectable. Please note that the below results are in measures of "parts per trillion". One part per trillion is equivalent to one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools (about 13,200,000 gallons of water).

What does this mean?

The results demonstrate that MUB’s water is of an extremely high quality. The results also indicate that in terms of both concentration and Hazard Index, MUB’s water meets all criteria and is safe for all uses.

Questions and Comments

Questions and comments related to PFAS can be directed to Chris Linger at clinger@mub.org.