You may have read an article in today's Boston Globe about PFAS (poly-fluoroalkyl substances) in some Massachusetts drinking water supplies. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) monitors these chemicals in your water supply. Recent testing shows that the sum of the six PFAS compounds in MWRA reservoirs was zero - well below the new The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) regulatory standard.
PFAS refers to a class of human-made chemicals typically associated with the manufacturing of non-stick coatings, water-proofing, and stain-proofing treatments. They have also been associated with certain fire-fighting foams. These compounds are persistent in the environment and have been used for decades in a number of everyday products.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection set a standard of 20 parts per trillion on October 2, 2020, for the sum of six PFAS compounds (called PFAS6). MWRA has carried out testing for these compounds since then, and began quarterly testing in January 2021, when the new regulations became effective. As expected, given MWRA's well-protected watersheds and reservoirs, MWRA easily met the new standard. No more than trace amounts were detected (too low to be quantified). MWRA will continue to perform testing and closely monitor developments in the science around this issue.