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PFAS (Polyfluoroalkyl Substances)

What are PFAS?

PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances) are manmade synthetic chemical compounds present in industrial and consumer products.

How are PFAS containments introduced into the environment?

PFAS containments are not natural in the environment, but tests results reveal detectable levels in groundwater and river waters in central Wisconsin. Research studies indicate that firefighting foams containing levels of PFAS used during firefighting exercises have migrated into ground water. Other contributors of PFAS are industry release, landfills, wastewater effluents, wax paper, fast food containers, cosmetics.

Can PFAS be removed?

PFAS containments do not readily breakdown in the environment and can be difficult to remove from drinking water sources. Currently, ground water systems are the target for testing. Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) treatment is successful in removing PFAS containments.

What are the drinking water regulations and/or standards for PFAS?

USEPA has set PFAS health advisory levels at 70 parts per trillion. Wisconsin Department of Health Services continues to review research on health effects but has recommended to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources a drinking water regulatory standard at 20 parts per trillion.

Has Sheboygan Water Utility tested its drinking water for PFAS?

Yes, the Sheboygan Water Utility tested its drinking water for PFAS in 2014 as required by USEPA: Test results were NO DETECT.

Although there is no data indicating PFAS contaminants in the Sheboygan area, here are NSF certified home filters that reduce PFAS levels: NSF Certified Home Filters 

More Information on PFAS:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)


Basic Information on PFAS (EPA)



PFAS Health Effects (WDHS)