Skip to main content

PFAS Resources

 

Announcement: 

On April 10, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new federal drinking water standards called Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water to safeguard public health and enhance water quality nationwide. ADEQ will update the PFAS map and PFAS resources on our website to reflect the final MCLs for PFAS. Please read ADEQ's statement about EPA's MCLs for PFAS and what we are doing in Arizona | View > 

per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

PFAS Resources

Revised on: August 19, 2023 - 12:01 a.m.

ADEQ is monitoring scientific, regulatory and legal developments related to PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) and participating in related discussions with federal, state and local agency partners. PFAS exposure is linked to potential adverse human health outcomes and is the subject of increasing regulation and litigation. To keep the public and other stakeholders informed, ADEQ will update this PFAS Resources webpage with new information as it becomes available.

What are PFAS?

PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals with fire-retardant properties manufactured and used by various industries since the 1940s. PFAS have been used commercially in the United States to make products like stain and water-resistant carpets and textiles, food packaging, firefighting foam, and other industrial processes. | Learn More ATSDR PFAS >

What PFAS regulations are there? 

PFAS regulations are increasing at federal and state levels in the United States. New regulations are focusing on decreasing their use in manufacturing, lowering the limits for acceptable levels of PFAS in groundwater and soil, and requiring remediation projects to address PFAS contamination.

On April 10, 2024, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) establishing legally enforceable levels, called Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), for six PFAS in drinking water: PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS, PFNA, and HFPO-DA as contaminants with individual MCLs, and PFAS mixtures containing at least two or more of PFHxS, PFNA, HFPO-DA, and PFBS using a Hazard Index MCL to account for the combined and co-occurring levels of these PFAS in drinking water. EPA NPDWR |

Additional information on EPAs website:

What is Arizona doing?

ADEQ has taken many proactive steps to understand the scope of PFAS impacts and ensure that Arizona is prepared to meet the new federal standards. Some of these steps include:

  • Addressing PFAS in Drinking Water | Learn More >
  • Public Water System PFAS Data (Luke Air Force Base Area) | Learn More >
  • Protecting Tucson’s Drinking Water Supply | Learn More >
  • AFFF Stakeholder Advice, Education & Outreach | Learn More >

Additional Information

If you are concerned about PFAS in drinking water, there are key actions you can take. People who are concerned about PFAS in their drinking water should first contact their drinking water utility to find out more about their drinking water, including what contaminants may be present, if the utility is monitoring for PFAS, what the levels are, and to see whether any actions are being taken. 

If you remain concerned after talking to your utility, then consider using or installing in-home water treatment (e.g., filters) that is certified to lower the levels of PFAS in your water and/or contact your health care provider as well as your state or local health department. You can find more information about water filters that help reduce PFAS here. 

If you get your water from a home drinking water well, then EPA recommends you conduct regular testing. A guide for sampling your tap can be found here.  If PFAS are found, you can take steps to lower the levels of PFAS. More information is available from the EPA here.  Additional resources for well owners in Arizona are available from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

PFAS in Drinking Water

In April 2024, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) establishing legally enforceable levels, called Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), for six PFAS in drinking water: PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS, PFNA, and HFPO-DA as contaminants with individual MCLs, and PFAS mixtures containing at least two or more of PFHxS, PFNA, HFPO-DA, and PFBS using a Hazard Index MCL to account for the combined and co-occurring levels of these PFAS in drinking water. | View >

Public water systems have three years to complete initial PFAS monitoring requirements, after which they are obligated to inform the public about the levels of PFAS detected in their drinking water. For cases where monitoring shows PFAS levels higher than the standards, water systems must then implement effective solutions to meet the PFAS standards within five years. Fortunately, ADEQ has taken many proactive steps to ensure that Arizona public water systems are well-positioned to identify and address PFAS drinking water challenges early and head on to meet the standards set by EPA’s PFAS Rule:

To prepare for the implementation of the NPDWR for PFAS, which applies to approximately 950 Arizona systems, both ADEQ and public water systems have been conducting PFAS testing to identify the extent of PFAS in Arizona drinking water | Learn More > 

To provide support to small water systems and disadvantaged communities that will need assistance to address PFAS, ADEQ developed and is implementing a statewide drinking water PFAS mitigation plan. The plan leverages $5 million in state funding allocated by Governor Katie Hobbs and the Arizona Legislature to ADEQ in 2023 and additional federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding starting at $42 million | Learn More >

 

ADEQ has been hosting forums to discuss industry perspectives on PFAS solutions, developing technical guidance documents for engineers designing PFAS treatment systems and conducting ongoing training webinars | Learn More >

 

To prepare for the implementation of the NPDWR for PFAS, which applies to approximately 950 Arizona systems, both ADEQ and public water systems have been conducting PFAS testing to identify the extent of PFAS in Arizona drinking water.

In 2018, ADEQ developed and conducted a PFAS screening program for public water systems with wells near areas of potential frequent PFAS use, which included industrial and manufacturing facilities, firefighting training facilities, airports and military sites. Initial screening program results showed more than 94 percent of the public water systems were either non-detect for PFAS tested or were below EPA’s 2016 Health Advisory Levels (HALs) | View Report > | View Map >

In September 2022, ADEQ announced an agreement with the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona (WIFA) to dedicate $3 Million of federal Safe Drinking Water Act funds to ensure that every public water system in Arizona is tested for PFAS. ADEQ’s proactive sampling assists Arizona public water systems that are not part of EPA’s fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR5), which began in January 2023 and requires public water systems that serve more than 3,300 customers to test for PFAS.

If a public water system already is sampling for PFAS, ADEQ will request their data.

ADEQ’s sampling activities will be conducted under a PFAS Quality Assurance Program Plan and similar to EPA’s UCMR5, the samples will be analyzed using EPA Methods 533 and 537.1.

As ADEQ PFAS sample results become available, ADEQ will share validated data with the public water system owners and operators.

All data collected by ADEQ will be validated, verified and also made available to the public through an interactive map on ADEQ’s website | View Map >

When PFAS are detected at a public water system during an ADEQ sampling event, ADEQ will contact the public water system to discuss the need to:

  • Take steps to inform customers,
  • Examine steps to limit exposure, and
  • Undertake additional sampling to assess the level, scope, and source of contamination

To assist public water systems with potential PFAS challenges, ADEQ compiled an Arizona Public Water System PFAS Toolkit with information regarding funding, sampling, customer communication, and potential PFAS treatment options | View/Download Toolkit >