PFAS & Drinking Water | Regional Water Providers Consortium

PFAS & Drinking Water

What are PFAS?

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are human-made, long-lasting chemicals which have been found in water, air, and soil in the United States and around the world. There are thousands of PFAS chemicals which are used in many different types of products from firefighting foam to dental floss.

While water providers are not the cause of PFAS in drinking water, PFAS are an emerging concern in the water industry due to health concerns and environmental impacts. The regulatory landscape around PFAS and drinking water is quickly evolving and water providers are working to ensure public health is protected.


How can PFAS affect drinking water quality?

PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” or “persistent chemicals” because they break down very slowly. Though some types of PFAS have largely been phased out due to health and environmental concerns, they may still be found in the environment, making them a unique water quality concern. 


What are water providers doing?

On April 10, 2024, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final drinking water regulation for six types of PFAS. It will take about two years for the Oregon Health Authority to adopt new regulations. After rules are adopted, public water systems will have time to monitor and come into compliance if PFAS are detected. In the meantime, water providers are sampling for PFAS in their water sources under the EPA Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) or through an OHA sampling program.


What can I do?

The best way to prevent PFAS from entering local waterways is to remove the source. This is the responsibility of the manufacturers of PFAS, not individuals. The best action you can take right now is to be knowledgeable about PFAS and pay attention to information provided by your water provider.


How can I learn more about PFAS and drinking water?

Read your water provider’s Water Quality Report or Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) to learn about the work done to test, monitor, and maintain your drinking water’s quality from its source to your faucet. Since not all water providers currently test for PFAs, information may not currently be included in your water provider’s CCR. Contact your water provider or use the links below to find information about PFAS and your drinking water.

There are also resources available that talk about what we know about PFAS, what the state and federal government is doing to address the issue, and proposed rules that would work to address water quality concerns related to PFAS:


This page was last updated on 29 April 2024.