Throughout New England and across the nation, state and local officials, health departments, and water utilities, including Aquarion, have focused their attention on a group of man-made chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that have been detected in drinking water. PFAS are widely used in consumer products (e.g. nonstick cookware, stain-resistant carpets) and have numerous industrial applications (e.g. firefighting foam). PFAS are pervasive and persistent once released into the environment.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not established a maximum amount of these chemicals that they will allow to be present in drinking water; however, EPA currently recommends that concentrations of two of the chemicals, PFOA and PFOS, not exceed 70 parts per trillion (ppt) individually or combined. The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) has taken a more conservative approach and agrees that 70 ppt is an appropriate target concentration, but has included three additional PFAS (PFHxS, PFHpA, PFNA).
In recognition of the growing concern about PFAS, Aquarion voluntarily began a PFAS testing program in 2019 for our 72 public water systems in Connecticut. The test results are shown below and show a range of PFAS concentrations from not detected to 31 ppt for five chemicals. These results are all well under the DPH and EPA advisory limit of 70 ppt. These PFAS limits may be subject to change in the future.
In November 2019, Governor Lamont announced that the Connecticut Interagency PFAS Task Force, the group he created this past summer, had developed a PFAS Action Plan. One of the Action Plan’s key recommendations is to test drinking water for PFAS. We believe the results from our 2019 PFAS testing program will help the State achieve implementation of the PFAS Action Plan.
In addition to the water testing in 2019, Aquarion also inspected land use activities around each of our water supplies and found no high risk contamination sources such as industrial, commercial, and municipal activities that might release high levels of PFAS to the environment.
Aquarion will remain vigilant about this important issue, including additional testing for PFAS at some of our water sources. We will continue to share test results with our customers and state and local officials. We will also continue to work with the public health agencies and drinking water associations to ensure protection of our drinking water supplies, and delivery of high quality water to our customers.
Below are additional information links on PFAS and Aquarion's PFAS sampling results by town/water system.