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PER- AND POLYFLUOROALKYL SUBSTANCES - Updated

Post Date:09/28/2019 10:00 PM

The Department of Water and Power (DWP) is one of several local agencies that received a Monitoring Order in March 2019 from the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Drinking Water (DDW), requiring quarterly testing for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in our drinking water wells. 

What are PFAS? 

PFAS are a diverse family of manmade chemicals resistant to heat, water, and oil that have been used for decades in hundreds of industrial applications and consumer products such as carpeting, apparels, upholstery, food paper wrappings, fire-fighting foams and metal plating. PFAS have been found both in the environment and in blood samples of the general U.S. population. PFAS refers to a full array of polyfluoroalkyl substances, while Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) are used to identify specific per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. 

PFOS, PFOA and several other long chain PFASs are now regulated by the European Union (EU) and Canada. Manufacturing of PFOS, PFOS-based and other perfluoroalkyl sulfonate-based chemicals with six or more carbon atoms was voluntarily phased-out in the U.S. during 2001 – 2002. In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and eight major manufacturers announced a voluntary PFOA phase-out, with a 95% use reduction by 2010 and elimination of all uses by 2015. 

The recently issued DDW Monitoring Orders are part of a statewide phased PFAS Investigation Plan to determine the occurrence and extent of PFAS in California. PFAS are present in many common items that we come into contact with on a regular basis and water is just one of many ways that humans can be exposed to these substances. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects. 

Recent Updates 

On August 23, 2019 the SWRCB announced they were lowering the notification levels for PFAS. The new notification levels are provided below. The response level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) combined PFAS remains unchanged.

 

Notification Level

Response Level

Constituent

Current

Revised

Current

Revised

PFOA

14 ppt

5.1 ppt

70 ppt

No Change

PFOS

13 ppt

6.5ppt

 

On August 22, 2019, DWP provided notification to the Corona City Council as required by Health and Safety Code section 116455 because DWP’s source water exceeds the newly-established lower notification levels. We have not exceeded the response level therefore no further action is required at this time. DWP’s water is safe to consume and meets all federal, state and local regulations. DWP has a diverse water supply and a robust treatment and blending plan to ensure the water delivered to our customers is safe and reliable. 

DWP, along with other water and wastewater agencies in California, requested the SWRCB conduct the formal process to establish a Public Health Goal for PFAS. DWP management and staff will continue to be very engaged during this process.

DWP remains committed to providing safe, reliable, and high-quality drinking water meeting all state and federal standards to its customers. Further information on DWP’s water quality is available in the annual Consumer Confidence Report available at https://www.coronaca.gov/government/departments-divisions/department-of-water-and-power/about-dwp/water-quality. Should you have any questions on this matter, please contact us at (951) 736-2477 or by email at Tom.Moody@CoronaCA.gov.

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