Nearly 19% of Water Systems Tested in Pa. Contain PFAS Levels Above New EPA Standards

Public water providers nationwide are facing challenges posed by new Environmental Protection Agency regulations. These regulations mandate testing drinking water for toxic PFAS and reducing these persistent chemicals to nearly undetectable levels within the next five years.

According to PBS, public water providers in Pennsylvania recently completed PFAS testing to meet the state’s own requirements that were implemented last year to tackle the chemicals.

Providers serving more than 350 people were required in January to start testing their drinking water for PFAS. Nearly 19% of the water systems tested statewide between January and March of 2024 submitted water samples that contained PFAS levels above the new federal regulations, according to newly published data of 1,059 water systems analyzed by WHYY News.

More than 2.5% — or 27 of these water systems — submitted water samples that contained PFAS at levels that fail to meet the state’s own regulations, which allow for higher levels of the chemicals in drinking water.

These water systems can be publicly or privately owned, and are operated by investor-owned utilities, municipalities, small communities, schools and businesses. Larger water providers may operate multiple water systems for their customers in various counties.

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