You may have heard or read about PFAS, which stands for “per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances.” Sometimes called “forever chemicals,” these man made substances are very persistent in the environment and can accumulate over time. Because they were deployed so widely, PFAS have been found in many places in our environment, including, in some cases, water sources. The good news for you is that we have just conducted tests showing very low levels of PFAS in your drinking water.  Based on these test results, your water is safe.

At GAUD, we take all water quality issues and concerns seriously, and are committed to keeping you informed. You’ll find basic information about PFAS below as well as links to more detailed resources. As always, if you have any concerns about your drinking water or how we handle our stormwater and wastewater, please contact us at contact@greateraugustautilitydistrict.org or call our office at (207) 622-3701.

What exactly are PFAS?

They are man-made chemicals that show up in ordinary consumer products like non-stick cookware, microwave popcorn bags, flame retardant clothing, furniture and carpets, as well as other industrial products like firefighting foams.

What are the health effects of PFAS?

Scientists are still learning about possible health effects from being exposed to PFAS. Some studies indicate that PFAS exposure may increase cholesterol and liver enzyme levels, interfere with the body’s hormones, affect the immune system and increase the risk of certain types of cancers. Further research is necessary, since these studies are not consistent.

What are the regulations?

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a Lifetime Health Advisory Level of PFAS in drinking water at 70 parts per trillion (ppt).

What are GAUD'S TEST RESULTS?

In March 2021, we tested the five wells located throughout our system, and found no PFAS levels above 20 ppt, with most samples below three ppt. We will continue to test our drinking water supplies to see how seasonal changes in the groundwater table impact PFAS levels.

GAUD PFAS Lab Test Results

Lab Sample Number Sample Site PFOS (ppt) PFQA (ppt) PFNA (ppt) PFHxS (ppt) PFHpA (ppt) Sum (ppt)
 410-32424-1 Triangle - HD-4 0.77 J I 1.3 J ND/0.49 0.57 J ND/0.49 2.64
  410-32424-3 Brookside - HD-5 1.1 J I 1.3 J ND/0.51 ND/0.51 ND/0.51 2.4
 410-32424-2 South - HD-6 0.85 J I 0.93 J ND/0.49 ND/0.49 ND/0.49 1.78
 410-32424-4 Bonenfant - HD-7 5.5 5.9 0.56 J 1.3 J 3.6 16.86
 410-32424-5 MainEx - HD-8 2.41* 2.6* ND/0.45 0.68 J 0.94 J 6.92

Sample Date: 03/09/2021
Laboratory: Katahdin Analytical / Eurofins
Method: EPA 527.1

Bonenfant CI2 = 0.0 mg/L
Phosphate = 0.03 mg/L
Bonenfant ran approx 2 hours without FI prior to sampling
Fluoride result = 0.17 mg/L

J = Result is less than the Reporting Limit but greater than or equal to the Method Detection Limit and the concentration is an approximate value
I = Value is estimated maximum possible concentration
ND/value: If an isotope was not detected, the method detection limit is shown here.
*The recovery labeled isotopes (PFOA, PFOS) in MainEx sample was outside of the QC acceptance limits. Insufficient sample volume was available for a repeat test.

Resources

You can learn more about PFAS at these websites: