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PFAS and other emerging constituents

Introduction to PFAS

What Are PFAS?
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals, including PFOA, PFOS and GenX, which is a chemical replacement for PFOA. For more than 70 years, PFAS have been manufactured and used in variety of industries worldwide. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to certain PFAS can lead to adverse health effects in humans.

Where Are PFAS Found?
PFAS are man-made contaminants that are found in thousands of products that are used daily, including our shampoo, clothing, cleaning products, food wrappers, non-stick cookware, firefighting foam and carpet. Most people worldwide have measurable amounts of PFAS in their blood and are typically exposed to PFAS through eating food grown in contaminated water/soil or consuming food from packaging that contains PFAS; breathing air with dust particles from contaminated soil, upholstery, clothing; inhaling fabric sprays containing PFAS; or drinking contaminated water.

What is EVMWD Doing to Treat and Remove PFAS?
Our customers are our top priority, and EVMWD is closely monitoring PFAS in our water supply. Our water is thoroughly treated and tested thousands of times per year to ensure it meets water quality standards for state and federal regulations. If PFAS are discovered at a reportable level, EVMWD will take immediate and appropriate action to ensure water meets state and federal regulations.

In March 2020, PFAS were detected in Canyon Lake above State Response Levels and the water source was taken offline. Until its PFAS levels are treated and reduced, EVMWD is replacing this supply with imported water from Metropolitan Water District. EVMWD has evaluated multiple treatment alternatives to treat for PFAS in Canyon Lake. EVMWD is pursuing a hybrid Granular Activated Carbon and Ion Exchange (GAC/IX) treatment to lower levels of PFAS and address other water quality concerns including taste and odor. Pilot testing is anticipated to begin in early 2021.

Additional Resources:
PFAS Fact Sheet
PFAS Information