No PFAS Detected in Village of Menomonee Falls Drinking Water Well Testing
The Menomonee Falls Water Utility continues its mission to provide its customers with a reliable supply of high-quality drinking water that meets all federal and state standards. Safe drinking water is essential to ensure public health.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates drinking water by establishing criteria to follow, ensuring that water is safe. In Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) enforces drinking water standards. The Menomonee Falls Water Utility meets or exceeds all regulatory standards in the United States and Wisconsin. Testing data is made public and shared with consumers annually to ensure trust and transparency.
Beginning in 2023, the Utility was required to conduct PFAS sampling in drinking water by the DNR. The Utility found no detections of PFAS compounds in any of its three wells. Water supplied to the Village by Milwaukee Water Works, however, detected slight amounts of PFAS contaminants, averaging 1.8-3.4 parts per trillion (ppt), still well below the regulatory standard set by the DNR of 70 ppt.
PFAS: Background and Impact
In recent years, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, have emerged as substances linked by the EPA to negative health effects. PFAS are a large group of human-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950’s. There are thousands of types of PFAS. The most common types of PFAS are PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctanoic sulfonic acid).
PFAS are found in hundreds of consumer products such as fast food wrappers, the lining of disposable coffee cups, waterproofing products, and many types of stain resistant coatings used in textile manufacturing (carpet, clothing, cookware, etc.). They have also been used in some firefighting foams that are being phased out of use. While PFOA and PFOS have been phased out from their use in commercial products, they take a long time to break down, and are commonly referred to as “forever chemicals”. These chemicals are widely used, take a long time to break down, and are still found in the environment from historical uses.